Skip to main content

Full text of "CMH Pub 2-2 The Procurement And Training Of Ground Combat Troops"

See other formats


The Army Ground Forces 


by Robert R. Palmer, Belt I. Wiley 
and William R. Keast, of the Historical Section- 
Army Ground Forces 


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 50-13989 

First Printed 1948— CMH Pub 2-2 

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 
Washington, D.C. 20402 

. . . to Those Who Served 


The conflict with the Axis Powers confronted the United States Army with 
problems on a scale never faced before — problems as great in administration, 
training, supply, and logistics as in strategy and tactics. THE UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II sets forth in detail the nature of the problems faced, 
the methods used to solve them, and the mistakes made as well as the success 
achieved. The object is to provide a work of reference for military and civilian 
students as well as a record of achievements which deserve an honorable place in 
the pages of history. Its value to the thoughtful citizen as an aid to his compre- 
hension of basic problems of national security has been a major consideration. 
Its preparation has also been prompted by the thought that in a faithful and 
comprehensive record all who participated in the Army's vast effort would find 
a recognition merited by their service and sacrifice. 

The advantage to the Army and the scholar has been the decisive factor in 
proceeding with the least possible delay to the publication of such a series. No 
claim is made that it constitutes a final history. Many years will pass before the 
record of the war can be fully analyzed and appraised. In presenting an organized 
and documented narrative at this time, the Historical Division of the War Depart- 
ment has sought to furnish the War Department and the Army schools an early 
account of the experience acquired, and to stimulate further research by provid- 
ing scholars with a guide to the mountainous accumulation of records produced 
by the war. 

The decision to prepare a comprehensive account of military activities was 
made early in the war. Trained historians were assigned to the larger units of the 
Army and War Department to initiate the work of research, analysis, and writing. 
The results of their work, supplemented by additional research in records not 
readily available during the war, are presented in this series. The general plan 
provides for a division into subseries dealing with the War Department, the 
Army Air, Ground, and Service Forces, the technical services, and the theaters 
of operations. This division conforms to the organization of the Army during 
World War II and, though involving some overlapping in subject matter, has the 
advantage of presenting a systematic account of developments in each major field 


of responsibility as well as the points of view of the particular commands. The 
plan also includes volumes on such topics as statistics, order of battle, military 
training, the Women's Army Corps, and other subjects that transcend the limits 
of studies focused on an agency or command. The whole project is oriented 
toward an eventual summary and synthesis. 

The studies in this volume were written during the war in the Historical 
Section of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, where the authors had free 
access to the records and experience of the command. The Historical Division 
of the War Department has confined material changes to such additions of in- 
formation, approved by the authors, as seemed necessary to round out the picture 
presented. The full and frank presentation of the wartime point of view of the 
Army Ground Forces, which has not been affected by the changes made, is 
regarded as one of the most valuable features of this particular series of studies. 

Brigadier General, USA 
Washington, D.C. Chief, Historical Division 

April 1947 War Department Special Staff 



In the series of historical studies of the Army Ground Forces, 1942-45, a 
volume previously published, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, 
deals with policies governing the number, size, composition, and equipment of 
the ground combat units in World War II. This volume centers on training, the 
principal mission of the Army Ground Forces. Since the obtaining of qualified 
personnel proved to be basic to the fulfillment of this mission, the first three 
studies deal with the procurement of enlisted men and officers possessed of the 
qualities and aptitudes desired for service in ground combat. The three studies 
which follow discuss the policies and problems involved in the training of indi- 
viduals, enlisted and commissioned, for their special functions in ground combat 
— a responsibility which the Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces 
received in March 1942 as successor to the chiefs of the statutory arms. The last 
four studies in the volume deal with the training of units, which the Army 
Ground Forces regarded as its principal and most urgent task. 

The preparation for combat of a large force of combined arms, rather than 
school or replacement training, was the aspect of the mission of the Army Ground 
Forces to which initial priority was given by Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, its com- 
mander until July 1944. The consequence was an emphasis on the field training 
of units, particularly of divisions. The building and training of infantry divisions 
and related activities are described in this volume. Other volumes will deal with 
such phases of training as the preparation for combat of special types of divisions, 
the maneuvers of corps and armies, and combined air-ground training. 

In general, the principle governing the historical program of the Army 
Ground Forces was to concentrate on accomplishing what probably could not be 
done as well, if at all, after the war. Concretely, this meant exploiting the advan- 
tages of access to the records while these were being made, and of access to the 
officers of the command while the problems they faced and the solutions pro- 
posed were in the foreground of their thought and interest. The subjects chosen 
for intensive study reflect the major activities and problems of the Army Ground 
Forces. Inevitably this choice made the survey a study of high command and not 
of tactical units or of the establishments concerned with individual training. 


The object has been to state not only what was done but also why the 
actions recorded were taken and what lessons were learned. The judgments 
expressed on military matters are those of the officers concerned. The function 
conceived as proper for the historians was to search out and state the facts which 
seemed to have a bearing on the major problems, proposals, and decisions of the 
Army Ground Forces, in the belief that in this context of facts the decisions of its 
commanders and the consequences of these decisions could best be understood. 
Research was carried beyond the records of AGF headquarters only so far as 
seemed necessary to explain the particular views and decisions of the commanders 
and staff of Army Ground Forces. The main effort was concentrated on exploring 
and setting forth the facts known to the headquarters at the time when 
action was recommended or taken. It is recognized that a knowledge of other 
facts will probably be needed to arrive at balanced judgments of its recommenda- 
tions and decisions — a knowledge attainable only when the history of the part 
played by other agencies of the War Department and the Army has been 

The first study in this volume was prepared by Dr. Robert R. Palmer, now 
Professor of History in Princeton University; the second, by Dr. Palmer and 
Maj. William R. Keast, now Assistant Professor of English in the University of 
Chicago; the third, by Dr. Palmer in collaboration with Major Keast; the fourth, 
fifth, and sixth, by Major Keast; and the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, by 
Maj. Bell I. Wiley, now Professor of History in Louisiana State University. All 
were prepared in the AGF Historical Section, of which the undersigned was 
chief. The members of the Historical Section received invaluable advice and col- 
laboration from the officers of Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. In particular, 
the studies in this volume owe much to the unfailing interest and helpfulness of 
Maj. Gen. James G. Christiansen, Chief of Staff of the Army Ground Forces. 

Materials obtained from records and interviews in AGF headquarters were 
supplemented by observations and interviews in the field. Wherever testimony 
has been used the officers who gave it are named in the footnotes. No attempt is 
made here to include a complete list of those whose advice and comments, fre- 
quently sought, were freely given. For Major Wiley's studies such a list would 
include many officers and enlisted men of the 63d, 65th, 69th, 75th, 84th, 86th, 
92d, 94th, and 95th Divisions. As the 65th was the last division activated, and as 
the period of its training paralleled the preparation of Major Wiley's study of 
divisional training, he visited it three times, at well-spaced intervals, and on each 


visit interviewed representative officers from the division commander down to 
platoon leaders. 

The studies have been materially strengthened by editorial revision in the 
Historical Division of the War Department. This revision was carried out by 
Dr. Rudolph A. Winnacker, Chief of the Editorial Branch, Dr. Stetson Conn, 
Dr. Albert K. Weinberg, and other members of the editorial staff. Dr. Conn's 
assistance proved especially helpful in the revision and correction of statistical 
data to the extent permitted by figures now available. Dr. Weinberg rounded out 
some of the studies by incorporating material from related AGF monographs, in 
particular from the "History of the Replacement and School Command," pre- 
pared by Capt. William H. Willis. Maj. Ulysses G. Lee of the Historical Division 
contributed to the first study a section on Negro troops. Mr. W. Brooks Phillips 
performed the difficult task of providing a full index for the volume. To all those 
who have rendered assistance, the authors acknowledge their indebtedness. 

At the end of the volume certain aids to the reader will be found : a glossary 
of the numerous abbreviations which appear in the text and tables ; a footnote 
guide explaining the system of documentation; a bibliographical note to guide 
future students of the subjects treated through the archival materials used; and, 
at the end of the bibliographical note, a list of the studies prepared or initiated by 
the Historical Section of the Army Ground Forces during the war. 


April 1947 Colonel, ORC 



Studies : p age 












Glossary of Abbreviations 649 

Guide to Footnotes 653 

Bibliographical Note 657 

Index 665 


The Procurement of 

Enlisted Personnel: 

The Problem of Quality 


Robert R. Palmer 




The Need for High-Grade Personnel in Ground Combat 2 

The Army Classification System and the Army Ground Forces 4 


Decline in the Quality of AGF Personnel 15 

Preferential Assignment to the Army Air Forces 21 

The Army Specialized Training Program and the Army Ground Forces . . 28 

Limited-Service Men in the Army Ground Forces 40 



Proposals for the Rehabilitation of the Ground Arms 51 

The Quality of Negro Troops 53 

The Infantry Program 58 

The Physical Profile System 64 

Limited Success of the Physical Profile System 69 

The Transfer of High-Quality Personnel to the Ground Arms 76 


No. Pap 

1. Distribution of Enlisted Men per Thousand in Various Arms and Services, 

28 January 1943 8 

2. Percentage Distribution by AGCT Classes of All Men Assigned by Recep- 

tion Centers to Replacement Training Centers, by Branch, March- 
August 1942 17 

3. Distribution by AGCT Classes of All Men Inducted into the Army, 

Processed at Reception Centers, and Assigned to the Various Arms and 

Services during 1943 18 

4. Provision of Students to the Army Specialized Training Program, First 

Three Training Cycles, May-July 1943 34 

5. Relative Popularity of Arms and Services Among Enlisted Men in 1943 . 49 

I. The Classification of 
Enlisted Personnel 

The armed forces of the United States at their peak strength during World 
War II numbered approximately 12,350,000. The Army's share of this total was 
roughly 8,300,000, of which about 7,300,000 were enlisted men. Another volume 
of this series has described the problems attending the allocation to ground 
combat units of an adequate proportion of the mobilized manpower. 1 Of equal 
concern to the Army Ground Forces was the quality of these men with respect to 
their basic aptitudes for service in the ground arms. 

Even if these basic aptitudes had been firmly established by the system of 
classifying the Army's quota of the national manpower, not all of those found 
to possess them could have been assigned to the Army Ground Forces. The com- 
peting demands of the Air Forces for men with combat aptitudes and of both the 
Air and Service Forces for men with technical qualifications had to be met also. 
The supply necessary to meet all demands having quickly been found inadequate, 
priorities were established. In 1942 it was deemed necessary to give the Army Air 
Forces first call on the Army's quota of men in the highest brackets of general 
military aptitude. By the end of 1943 the operation of this priority and of other 
factors had reduced to a dangerously low level the number of men allotted to the 
Ground Forces who seemed likely to perform effectively in combat. In 1944 
priority as between Air and Ground Forces was reversed, and the system of 
classification was revised to select more effectively for ground combat service the 
types of men who had an aptitude for such service. 

The present study approaches the problem from the point of view of the 
Army Ground Forces, the major command responsible for the training of 
ground combat troops in World War II. It presents an analysis of the effects pro- 
duced by the system of assignment used in 1942 and 1943, reviews the efforts and 
proposals which were made to obtain a larger share of men of the type needed to 
meet the requirements of ground combat in modern war, and describes the 
results of these efforts. An attempt has been made to indicate why certain efforts 
and proposals failed or were overruled, but in general only insofar as the reasons 

1 See "Mobilization o£ the Ground Army," in UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II: THE 
ARMY GROUND FORCES, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops (Washington, 1947). 



were known at Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. The views presented can be 
fully appraised only when the whole picture of the war effort has been more fully 

Although many in the armed forces seem at first to have shared the 
prevalent optimism regarding the abundance of the resources of the Nation 
both in materiel and personnel, the War Department had in practice recognized 
the necessity of using the existing aptitudes of its quota of manpower econom- 
ically. It had built up, with the advice of experts in psychology and personnel 
management, a complex system of classification and assignment to make maxi- 
mum use of civilian skills and personal aptitudes. 2 Its system made provision for 
specialists and administrative and clerical personnel. Its scheme of classification 
recognized differences in age, physical hardihood, mental endowment, educa- 
tion, occupational skill, and capacity for assuming responsibility, with the object 
of adapting these various personal aptitudes to military requirements. The pur- 
poses of the system, in ascending order of importance, were to maintain morale by 
giving men suitable assignments; to simplify, hasten, and economize the training 
effort; and to organize the available manpower in such a way as to deliver in the 
shortest time the maximum force against the enemy. 

The Need for High-Grade Personnel in Ground Combat 

Ground combat in World War II required complex skills, which were in 
large part technical. Even in the Infantry, the ground arm requiring the least 
technical training, the private had to understand the use of a dozen weapons. 
He had to acquire at least an elementary knowledge of many things besides: 
camouflage and concealment; mine removal and the detection of booby traps; 
patrolling, map reading, and combat intelligence; recognition of American, 
Allied, and enemy aircraft, armored vehicles, and other equipment; the use and 
disposal of captured equipment; the processing of prisoners of war; first aid, 
field sanitation, and maintenance of life and health out of doors over long periods 
and under conditions of extreme difficulty. Thus the trained ground soldier was, 
on the basis of military instead of civilian skills, almost as much a specialist as 
anyone in the Army. Moreover, the knowledge and skills which the infantryman 
might need in battle were such that they could not be reduced to an anticipated 

* See the articles by Walter V. Bingham, Chief Psychologist, Personnel Procedure Section, the Adjutant 
General's Office, in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March 1942, pp. 18-28, 
Harper's, September 1942, pp. 432-40, and Science, September 29, 1944, pp. 275-80. 



routine. He had to know how to play his part under conditions of strain and 
confusion in the teamwork of squad and platoon, coordinating the various 
infantry weapons in a tactics of fire and movement. The mobile tactics and open 
formations of World War II demanded the greatest possible physical vigor and 
mental alertness in individual combat soldiers and required strong powers of 
leadership in commanders, even in units as small as the squad. The intelligence, 
skill, and stamina of semi-isolated riflemen and small-unit commanders were to 
determine not only individual survival on the battlefield but also in many cases 
the outcome of battle. 

Although these facts were appreciated increasingly as the war proceeded, 
they were recognized from the beginning. In March 1942, when the Army 
Ground Forces was established, G-3 of the War Department General Staff 
endorsed the following public statement emphasizing the importance of having 
a high grade of personnel in ground combat units : 3 

The increased tempo of war today, its rapid changes in local situations, and the great 
spaces it covers make it impossible for commanders to control the detailed action of sub- 
ordinate units. Hence the accomplishment of the will of the commander depends, in final 
analysis, upon the ability of subordinates to make the proper decisions in unpredictable 
situations on the battlefield. These decisions require sound judgment and initiative — qualities 
which must be carefully developed and fostered in the training of every individual. 

Yet the quality of manpower in the ground arms, when mobilization was 
nearly completed in the latter part of 1943, compared unfavorably with that of 
other elements of the Army. A sample consisting of 12,000 combat soldiers proved 
to be below the Army average in height, in weight, in intelligence, and in edu- 
cation. The infantrymen examined averaged over half an inch shorter and six 
pounds lighter than the average for the Army. 4 

The ground combat arms had failed to receive a proportionate share of the 
high-quality men assigned by reception centers to the major Army commands. 
During the representative year of 1943, about 2,600,000 men were processed by 
the Army at reception centers and assigned to the arms and services. About 40 
percent of these men were sent to the ground combat arms. But only 34 percent 
of the men graded highest in intelligence and aptitude (AGCT Classes I and II) 
were so assigned, while 44 percent of those graded lowest (AGCT Classes IV 

'Lt B. N. Harlow (Bureau of Public Relations, War Department), "Training for Military Service," 
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March 1942, pp. 29-49. Stated by the 
editors to have been written in collaboration with G-3, WDGS. 

4 AGF memo for G— 1 WD, 1 1 Nov 43, sub: Improvement of the Morale, Efficiency, and Effectiveness 
of Inf. 000.7/22 (Inf Prog). 



and V) went to the ground combat arms. 5 Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, Command- 
ing General of the Army Ground Forces, felt very strongly on this matter. He 
came increasingly to believe that American soldiers were sustaining avoidable 
casualties and perhaps taking longer than necessary to win the war, because the 
men assigned to ground combat units did not represent a fair cross section of the 
nation's manpower. 

The Army Classification System and 
the Army Ground Forces 

There were various reasons for the relatively inferior quality of the human 
raw material made available to the ground combat arms during the first two 
years of the war. One was the absence of a central system of personnel classifica- 
tion and assignment for the Army and Navy as a whole. Another was, from the 
viewpoint of the Army Ground Forces, the shortcomings of the Army's own 
system of classification. 

Underlying Selective Service was the idea that the military authorities could 
best determine where a man might most effectively serve, and that individuals 
should patriotically abstain from volunteering for this or that branch of the 
service. In fact, however, the Navy and the Marine Corps obtained their personnel 
entirely from volunteers until the end of 1942. They also procured a large propor- 
tion of their officers by granting commissions to civilians prior to training, largely 
on the basis of educational background. This practice contrasted with the Army 
system, in which most men went through basic training as enlisted men before 
they could become eligible as officer candidates. Direct commissioning of civilians 
by the Army, though practiced on a fairly large scale in the early period of 
mobilization, did not ordinarily affect men liable for Selective Service and was 
not used to obtain officers for combat assignments. But by voluntarily enlisting or 
by accepting a commission in the Navy or the Marines, many thousands of men 
of the finest physical types, and of a high degree of education and personal 
initiative, remained outside the operations of Selective Service and hence outside 
the Army. Not all of these men were used for combat duty by the Navy and the 
Marine Corps. 

The Army classification system, designed to determine where men could 
serve most effectively, therefore applied to a group which, in its top strata, was 

"These percentages were compiled from statistics o£ the AGO Classification and Replacement Branch, 
reports on Forms XOC-62, 63, 64. For a detailed breakdown o£ the 1943 statisticslsee Table No. 3. 



less than representative of the national manpower. In addition, some of the best 
men received by the Army were not subject to normal classification. Until the 
end of 1942 the Army also accepted men of draft age as volunteers and permitted 
them to select their own branch of the service. In 1942 only about 5 percent of the 
volunteers chose the Infantry or Armored Force. 6 The overwhelming majority 
chose the Air Corps. They reached Army reception centers preclassified — ear- 
marked for the Air Corps by their own wish. Only high-type men could qualify. 
By no means all were employed by the Army Air Forces on combat or flying 
duty. 7 

The Navy, the Marines, and the Army Air Forces therefore had the character 
of hand-picked organizations, a character preserved to a large extent by the Navy 
and the Marine Corps even after their resort to the draft (because of differences 
in induction standards), and by the Army Air Forces even though a large 
proportion of its personnel was obtained by nonvoluntary methods. 

The Army classification system applied to the great bulk of men received 
by the Military Establishment during the war. Classification began on induction 
and followed the enlisted man through his military career, changing as he 
changed. Assignment and reassignment reflected the successive decisions of clas- 
sifying officers. For most men the classification and corresponding assignment 
made at the time of induction determined their subsequent careers in the Army. 
Men were classified in three ways — by physical capacity, by intellectual capacity, 
and by occupational skill. 

Classification and assignment within the Army by physical capacity was very 
broad. For induction, detailed and fairly high physical standards, including 
psychiatric standards, were prescribed. 8 Once in the Army, men were classified 
on simple lines. Whereas the British and German Armies recognized several 
grades of physical capacity, according to muscular strength, endurance, agility, 

" "Armistice Day Address by Lt Gen L. J. McNair, 1 1 Nov 42," p. 5. AWC Library, Collection of 
McNair Speeches. 

1 The Air Corps is the permanent statutory organization of the air arm of the Military Establishment 
and is the principal component of the Army Air Forces. During World War II the strength of the Air Corps 
was 80 percent or more of the total strength of the Army Air Forces, the remainder being made up of 
various services and arms attached to the Air Forces. The preferential rules of 1942-43 discussed in the 
following pages applied to all men assigned to the Army Air Forces and shipped directly from reception 
centers to AAF basic training centers. Such men were actually members of the Air Corps; this study, 
however, follows the customary war and postwar practice of referring to them as personnel of the Army 
Air Forces. 

* WD Mobilization Regulations (MR) 1-9, as amended. 



coordination, and other criteria, and assigned men to positions making corre- 
sponding demands on physique, the United States Army recognized only one 
category of general service and one category of limited service. In July 1943 
limited service was abolished as a category in classification. Physical grounds for 
assignment thereafter depended on individual cases rather than on types. The 
great majority of men qualified for general service. General-service men were 
assigned to units irrespective of finer physical gradations, largely on the basis of 
occupational skill. Consequently the question whether, in a given unit, a man 
would engage in hand-to-hand fighting, march long distances on foot, carry a 
heavy pack, or go without sleep and food counted very little in his original assign- 
ment. Modifications in this system were introduced in 1944, too late to affect the 
bulk of the Army. 

Classification by intellectual capacity was more precise. 9 For this purpose 
inductees were given an Army General Classification Test (AGCT) designed 
to measure ability to learn. The confusion of AGCT scores with concepts of 
"I.Q." or "mental age" was forbidden by the War Department. The AGCT 
measured a compound of native endowments and of the effects of schooling and 
social experience, amounting to "intelligence" in the popular and practical sense 
in which it was useful to the Army. Scores were so arranged that 100 represented 
the expected median of all men tested. Numerical scores were grouped into five 
classes, of which Class I represented the men of highest intelligence and Class V 
the lowest. To qualify as an officer candidate a man had to fall in Class I or II. 
Class II was also the main source of good noncommissioned officers. Other things 
being equal (which they were not), all arms and services were to receive the 
same proportionate distribution of men in the five AGCT classes. 

Of all provisions of the classification system those concerned with occupa- 
tional skills were the most elaborate and the most refined. 10 The Army sought to 
meet its needs for specialists with men experienced in related occupations in 
civilian life. The purpose was the very important one of speeding up mobilization 
and training by utilizing the full capacities of the available manpower. Special- 
ists, in this connection, included those pursuing relatively simple trades which 
could be learned in a few weeks or months. The need of the Army for specialists 

*TM 12-260, WD, 31 Dec 42, Personnel Classification Tests. 

10 (1) AR 615—26, 15 Sep 42, sub: EM: Index and Specifications for Civ and Mil Occupational 
Specialists. (2) TM 12-426, WD, 1 Jul 44, sub: Civ Occupational Classification and Enl Pers. (3) WD 

Classification Memos, especially No. 9, 18 May 42, and No. 10, 1 Aug 42. 



was made clear to the public, especially in the period before the declaration of 
war, when the distastefulness of compulsory military training could be relieved 
by pointing out its vocational value. The publicizing of technical requirements 
produced an expectation among many inductees that they could best contribute 
to the war effort by continuing with their usual occupations, somewhat modified, 
in the Army. The satisfaction or disappointment of these expectations became an 
important factor in morale. 

To effect proper classification on all jobs performed by enlisted men, called 
"military occupational specialties" (MOS's) , were given "specification serial num- 
bers" (SSN's) on a scale from 001 to 999. Numbers below 500 designated mili- 
tary jobs having corresponding occupations in civilian life, such as Automobile 
Mechanic, 014, or Clerk-Typist, 405. Numbers above 500 designated jobs having 
no parallel in civilian life, such as Rifleman, 745, or Antitank Gunner, 610. An 
exception in the numbers above 500 was Laborer, 590. A special case was Basic, 
521, since basic privates might be trained for any job as desired by commanders. 

At the reception center the newly inducted man, after an interview, with or 
without vocational tests, was classified according to his occupational experience 
or aptitude. He received the specification serial number most closely correspond- 
ing to his main civilian skill. This number inevitably fell in the group of SSN's 
below 500. To fill the need for SSN's above 500 the classifying officer attempted to 
find related civilian trades. A man classified as Steward, 124, might be recom- 
mended for training as Mess Sergeant, 824. But for fighting jobs, such as Rifle- 
man, 745, Tank Driver, 736, or Gunner, 603, there were, of course, no civilian 

The requirements of the Army, in terms of SSN's, were formulated primarily 
in unit Tables of Organization (T/O's), which showed what jobs existed in 
every unit and how many men were needed for each type of job. From the T/O's 
of all units the Adjutant General's Office computed "Requirement and Replace- 
ment Rates, Military Specialists." 11 These were for the guidance of reception 
centers in the assignment of newly inducted men. They converted the needs of 
every type of unit for each SSN into a rate per thousand enlisted men. For 
example, in the infantry regiment, the rate per thousand was 21.3 for cooks 
(SSN 060), 77.0 for light truck drivers (SSN 345), 177.5 for riflemen (SSN 745), 
and 50.7 for automatic riflemen (SSN 746). The Requirement and Replacement 

11 Reissued at fairly long intervals; figures in present paragraph are from issue of WD Memo 
W615— 12— 43, 28 Jan 43. 



Rates also included figures for the over-all SSN needs of each arm and service. 
These figures served as a guide in the assignment of newly inducted men to 
replacement training centers. 

The arms and services differed greatly in their needs for military occupa- 
tional specialties. Some had a higher requirement rate than others for SSN's 
below 500, that is, for men to fill jobs for which there was a civilian counterpart. 
All the services except Military Police had more of such jobs than did any of the 
arms. (See Table No. r.) At one extreme was the Transportation Corps, in which, 


Distribution of Enlisted Men per Thousand in 
Various Arms and Services, 
28 January 1943 

Arm or Service 

Transportation . 

Engineers , 



Quartermaster. , 



Field Artillery . . 
Tank Destroyer 



Antiaircraft.. . . 
Coast Artillery. 

Military Police. 

Air Corps 

All SSN's 
below 500* 





SSN 590 




SSN 521 







All Other 











Source: WD Memo W615-12-43, 28 Jan 43, sub: Reqmt & Repl Rates, Military Specialists 
(1943 Troop Basis). 

a Men with jobs having counterparts in civilian life. 

* Men with distinctly military jobs, having no civilian counterparts. 



according to the Requirement and Replacement Rates, 788 out of every 1,000 
enlisted men filled civilian-type jobs (SSN's below 500), while only 63 were 
engaged in work for which there was no civilian equivalent. In the Infantry, on 
the other hand, only 164 men put of 1,000 (mostly cooks, truck drivers, and radio 
operators) filled civilian-type jobs, and 732 were engaged in exclusively military 
occupations. In general, for the combat arms there was no specific vocational 
preparation in civilian life. In assigning newly inducted men to the combat arms, 
and especially to the Infantry, it was necessary to a large extent either to ignore 
civilian occupation or to assign men who had no established occupation, and 
who therefore, unless lack of established occupation was due to youth, were not 
likely to be the most desirable material. 

Occupational classification, though not adapted primarily to the needs of 
the combat arms, was nevertheless the main basis of assignment. Reception 
centers, in filling requisitions of units or replacement training centers for person- 
nel, supplied specialists in the proportions called for in the Requirement and 
Replacement Rates. For further guidance of the reception centers Army Regula- 
tions 615-26, dated 15 September 1942, offered suggestions for assignment. For 
boilermakers, bricklayers, riveters, and steelworkers, the suggested assignment 
was the Corps of Engineers. For longshoremen it was the Quartermaster Corps. 
Detectives were thought to be peculiarly suitable for the Provost Marshal Gen- 
eral's Office, and "vice-squad patrolmen" for the Military Police. Miners might 
fit into either the Engineers or the Infantry. Suited for the Infantry primarily, 
according to these suggestions, were a few "specialists" of infrequent occurrence 
in the civilian population, such as parachute jumpers and mountaineers. Book- 
keepers, file clerks, piano tuners, shipping clerks, and teachers were recom- 
mended "for any arm or service." 12 White-collar workers were not needed by 
the Army in proportion to their frequency in civilian society. They stood, there- 
fore, a somewhat better chance of being assigned to the Infantry than did boiler- 
makers or longshoremen. 

The War Department was aware that civilian vocation was not in itself an 
adequate basis for military assignment. It realized that combat soldiers and com- 
bat leaders must learn their tasks after induction into the Army, regardless of 
previous occupation, and that to become a good soldier or a good leader required 
a considerable degree of intelligence. In March 1942 the Chief Psychologist, 
Personnel Procedures Bureau, Adjutant General's Office, in discussing the Army 

u AR 615-26, 15 Sep 42, pp. gjft. 



classification system, emphasized that men suited for combat positions should 
not be kept blindly at their old trades while in the Army. A master plumber, he 
maintained, would be misused as a plumber if he could become the leader of a 
machine gun squad. 13 A certified public accountant, he added, would be wasted 
in the Finance Department if in fact he had the ability to become the commander 
of a tank destroyer battalion. To keep qualified men from combat or command 
positions was the worst form of "occupational casualty." 14 

The trouble was that no definite means had been developed to determine a 
man's potentialities as a fighter or a combat leader. The first principle of the 
system as a system was, after all, to provide men with suitable job experience to 
Army units according to a highly refined scheme of job analysis rooted in Army 
Tables of Organization. A sample study in 1943 indicated that, of enlisted men 
having civilian trades usable by the Army, only 17 percent "were used by the 
Army in some activity different from previous civilian experience." 15 

The net result was that men having established trades or skills in civilian 
life tended to be assigned to the noncombat elements of the Army. The problem 
of technical training in the Army was thereby simplified, but the problem of 
tactical and combat training was rendered more difficult. Skilled workmen in 
civilian life tended to be men of the higher intelligence levels, with a sense of 
responsibility and initiative, and possessed also of superior physiques. The loss of 
civilian skills to the ground arms was of slight importance, since most skills in 
the ground arms had in any case to be learned after induction; but the loss of the 
type of men who had acquired skills in civilian life left the ground arms with a 
subaverage portion of the available manpower. 

There was one large exception to the placing of primary emphasis on occu- 
pational classification. In assignment to the Army Air Forces, classification by 
intellectual capacity was given precedence. During most of the period of rapid 
mobilization, from early in 1942 to the middle of 1943, the War Department 
ruled that a specified proportion of inductees sent to basic training centers of the 
Army Air Forces should be men scoring over 100 in the AGCT. The proportion 
varied but was always well above that found among inductees as a whole. The 
training program of the Air Forces, largely technical in nature, was simplified 

11 But in AR 615—26 plumbers were suggested for assignment to the Engineers or the Quartermaster 

11 W. V. Bingham, "The Army Personnel Classification System," Annals of the American Academy of 
Political and Social Science, March 1942, p. 21. 

IS Report of the Army Service Forces, Fiscal Year 1943, p. 136. 



and accelerated by the receipt of a larger percentage of high-intelligence person- 
nel. In view of the size of the Air Forces, the practice substantially reduced the 
number of high-intelligence men available to the remainder of the Army. 

In principle, the War Department desired that all arms and services should 
receive an adequate proportion of the more intelligent men from whom officers 
might be developed. Instructions to reception centers read: 16 

Mental ability will be distributed proportionately to all replacement training centers and 
units after occupational specialists required by installation or unit of assignment have been 
supplied, except when specifically directed to the contrary by the War Department. Particular 
attention will be given to the necessity of sending to the various arms and services all men 
who appear to have the proper qualifications for officer candidates in the respective arms 
and services. 

But the "after" clause in the first sentence, by which men with established 
vocations went largely into the services, and the "except" clause, which during 
1942 and 1943 covered the policy of assigning a larger proportion of men of high 
mental capacity to the Air Forces, meant that however evenly the reception 
centers distributed the remaining mental ability the combat ground arms would 
obtain less than their share of the high-intelligence men. The percentage of 
enlisted men "who appeared to have the proper qualifications for officer candi- 
dates" was in fact lower in the combat ground arms than in the rest of the Army. 

For the purposes of the Army Ground Forces, the fundamental shortcom- 
ing of the classification system was that, while it indicated very definitely the 
occupational qualities of enlisted men for which the Army Service Forces could 
establish a claim, it indicated very indefinitely the qualities mainly required by 
the Army Ground Forces. A man's potentialities as a fighter or combat leader 
were intangible. To estimate them involved the prediction of how an individual 
would behave under future conditions of a kind to which he had never been 
subjected in the past. It was fairly safe to assume that a truck driver, if taught to 
drive an Army truck under tactical conditions in maneuvers, would be able to 
drive satisfactorily in a combat zone. It was more difficult to predict how a man 
would react in battle as a rifleman from anything known of him at the time of 
induction, or even during training, however much the training might simulate 
combat. It was not possible to predict with assurance, whatever signs of leader- 
ship a man might have shown as a civilian, that he would do well at officer 
candidate school or, if he did, how he would actually conduct himself as a 
lieutenant directing his platoon in battle. 

M Par 2.36, WD Classification Memo No. 9, 1 8 May 42. 



In short, the qualities which it was most important for the Army Ground 
Forces to know were those on which psychological research was the least con- 
clusive, and on which the records made by classifying officers were the most 
indefinite or silent. Attempts were made to put the desired information on the 
soldier's principal classification record, his "Form 20." It might be recorded that 
he had handled firearms as a civilian, or had gone on hunting trips — a fact which 
would perhaps be made the basis of assignment to the Infantry. It might be 
recorded that a man had supervised others in civilian life, as a foreman, office 
manager, or superintendent — a fact which would possibly be used as evidence of 
a capacity for military leadership. For the purpose to be served, however, such 
notations were desultory and inadequate. They lacked also the apparent definite- 
ness of an SSN classification or an AGCT score; they did not constitute systematic 
classification. Putting a needle through the punched spaces in a stack of Form 20's 
did not make it possible to identify the men who would make the best riflemen 
or the best officer candidates. 

In the absence of definite and reliable measures of the qualities needed in 
combat troops, the Army Ground Forces relied on more or less indirect indica- 
tions of such qualities. The fact that the use of AGCT scores and vocational 
histories tended to put the men with most initiative and intelligence in 
technical positions, and that little use of physical classification was made at all, 
gave additional reason for the Army Ground Forces to stress intelligence, initia- 
tive, and physical strength as indirect indications of what was needed in combat 
troops. Physical ruggedness was emphasized as a sign of fighting capacity, not 
only because front-line soldiers needed to be strong but also because physical 
strength was to some extent correlated with aggressiveness and emotional stabil- 
ity. Achievement in a civilian vocation was held to be a sign of initiative, 
ambition, self-reliance, persistence, and learning ability, and hence an indirect 
measure of qualities needed in fighting men and battle commanders. High 
AGCT scores were stressed as a sign of potential leadership. It was well known, 
to be sure, that battle leaders required qualities not measured by the AGCT and 
that many men with exceptionally high AGCT scores often could not deal effec- 
tively with subordinates. The correlation between leadership qualities and 
AGCT scores was by no means perfect. But in the absence of definite leadership 
tests common to the whole Army no better index than the AGCT was available. 

Officers of the Army Ground Forces came gradually, however, to question 
the whole system of classification and assignment. Their increasing doubts of its 
effectiveness in meeting the needs they represented were built up by experience. 



At first, in 1942, in pointing out the consequences of basing preferential assign- 
ment to the Air Forces on mental classification, Army Ground Forces urged a 
more consistent adherence to the principle of assignment according to occupa- 
tional skill. Protesting against an exception to the system, Army Ground Forces 
appealed to the system itself. Later, as the consequences of vocationalism became 
apparent, the value of the system as a whole came to be doubted. The War Depart- 
ment's decentralization of assignment procedures on 1 March 1943, and the 
consequent establishment of an active Classification and Replacement Division 
in the AGF headquarters staff, meant that more thought was given by AGF 
officers to the whole problem. After the middle of 1943 General McNair believed 
that assignment of inductees to branches of the Army should depend primarily 
on physical classification, with occupational assignment reserved for certain rare 
specialists only, and with no assignment on the basis of AGCT score alone. This 
was almost the reverse of the procedure under which the Army (almost 
completely mobilized by late 1943) had been formed. 

II. Problems of Quality 
in the Period of Mobilization 

The first "new" infantry divisions, neither Regular Army nor National 
Guard in origin, were activated in March 1942. In the same month the quality 
of manpower received by the ground arms began to decline below the national 
average. The role of the Army classification system in this decline was not at first 
appreciated and became fully evident only as experience accumulated. In 1942 
the War Department sought a remedy in legislation which would permit the 
induction of younger, more vigorous men, and the Army Ground Forces was 
concerned with the effect of the preference accorded to the Army Air Forces in 
the assignment of men with high AGCT scores. In November 1942 legislation 
for the induction of men eighteen and nineteen years old was obtained, and the 
War Department directed the maximum practicable assignment of younger 
inductees to combat units. 1 But throughout 1943 preference to the Army Air 
Forces continued to affect adversely the quality of those men received by the 
Army Ground Forces. A further decline in the quality of ground combat troops 
was caused in 1942 and 1943 by the loss of men who applied for officer training 
in the Air and Service Forces, and in 1943 by the temporary withdrawal of thou- 
sands of highly intelligent men for the Army Specialized Training Program. By 
the middle of 1943 the basic causes for this qualitative deterioration in ground 
combat troops became apparent. Partial remedies could not provide a solution for 
the existing crisis. A radical change, involving a shift in emphasis from occupa- 
tional and mental to physical qualifications in the Army classification system, 
was required to assure the effectiveness of ground troops in combat. In the 
preceding year and a half the quality of personnel in the Army Ground Forces 
had declined well below the national average in intelligence as well as in physical 

*(i) Memo (C) of G-3 WD for TAG, 1 Dec 42, sub: Assignment of 18, 19, and 20 Year Old 
Enlisted Men. AGO Records, ACT 324.71 (11-12-42) (1) (Use of 18 and 19 Year Old Group) (R). (2) 
For discussion of policy and plans with Hq AGF see AGF file 327.3 (Selective Service Men) (S). By 
express direction of General Marshall not less than 25 percent of the men in combat units were to be 
'teen-age men. Seventy-five percent were to be assigned to divisions activated after 1 January 1943. 


Decline in the Quality of AGF Personnel 

Before March 1942 the ground arms received a representative cross section 
of the manpower available to the Army. The best single precise index to quality 
of personnel (physical fitness of all general-service men being assumed equally 
adequate) was the score on the Army General Classification Test. In the six 
months preceding 1 March 1942, men processed and assigned by Army reception 
centers to replacement training centers were distributed by AGCT score as 
follows : 





IV and V 





31. 1 



Percentage distribution 

to the ground arms was as 






IV and V 


Armored Force 


















Coast Artillery 





1 00.0 

Field Artillery 






This distribution by classes in the ground arms reflected the average for the Army 
as a whole before 1 March 1942. 2 

In February 1942 the War Department ordered that 75 percent of the white 
men sent to the Air Forces from reception centers were to have AGCT scores of 
100 or over, that is, be in Classes I, II, or the upper half of III. This decision was 
based upon strategic requirements. The first offensive blows were to be delivered 
by the Army Air Forces. Preparing it for this role involved not only expanding it 
rapidly from a very small nucleus but also giving it first call on high-quality per- 
sonnel. At the same time, in the spring and summer of 1942, the number of service 
units activated was greatly increased to build up a base in the British Isles for the 
large-scale air and ground operations then contemplated. As a consequence, the 
factors tending to lower the quality of manpower assigned to the ground combat 
arms began to operate with pronounced effect. 

Percentage distribution, in terms of AGCT classes, for men processed and 
assigned by Army reception centers to replacement training centers in the six 
months following 1 March 1942 was as follows : 

Class l II III IV and V Total 

Percent 6.5 25.7 31.0 36.8 100.0 

' Percentages compiled by Historical Division, WDSS, from statistics of the AGO Classification and 
Replacement Branch, reports on Forms XOC-62, 63, 64. 



Distribution to the ground arms by percentages was as follows: 





IV and V 


Armored Force 












Coast Artillery 






Field Artillery 

4 .6 











The percentage distribution during the same period of the men assigned to 
replacement training centers of the various arms and services is shown in Table 
No. 2. Only the Corps of Engineers ranked below the ground combat arms in the 
quality of personnel received, as reflected in AGCT scores. 3 

The same situation continued to prevail throughout 1943. Figures for all men 
assigned by reception centers to both units and replacement training centers dur- 
ing 1943 show that the ground combat arms stood considerably below the Air 
Forces and most of the services in quality of personnel received ; divisions stood 
near the bottom of the list. Divisions, the major fighting units of the ground arms, 
received only 27.9 percent of their inductees in Classes I and II ; the Air Forces, 
on the other hand, received 41.7 percent; service command service units (com- 
prising permanent reception center personnel, etc.), 51.6 percent; and the Signal 
Corps, 58.0 percent. (See Table No. 3.)| The ground combat arms were assigned 

about 40 percent of the men processed at reception centers during 1943, but only 
28.5 percent of the top-quality Class I men. 4 

Not all the high-grade men assigned to the ground arms could be retained. 
Attrition was highest in this type of personnel. Some were lost as officer candi- 
dates when they elected to try for commissions outside the ground arms. In one 
infantry division in 1942, of 1,200 enlisted men accepted as officer candidates 800 
elected officer training in quartermaster, medical administration, and finance. 5 
Apart from the lesser danger, these branches were probably preferred in a belief 
that they offered opportunities for vocational self-improvement. Election of 
these branches by enlisted men in the combat ground arms was later prohibited 
by amendment to the Army Regulations. Through 1943 many intelligent enlisted 
men were also lost to the Army Specialized Training Program in the colleges. 
Through the whole period of mobilization soldiers in the ground arms were free 


6 AGF ltr to CGs, 4 Sep 42, sub: OCS. 352/301 (OCS). 




Percentage Distribution by AGCT Classes of All Men Assigned by 
Reception Centers to Replacement 
Training Centers, by Branch, March-August 1942 



I and II 


IV and V 















































Chemical Warfare 

Army Air Forces" 


Signal Corps" 

Military Police" 



Armored Force 

Branch Immaterial* 


Coast Artillery 


Field Artillery 


Source: Compiled by Historical Division, WDSS, from statistics of the AGO Classification 
and Replacement Branch reports on Forms XOC-62, 63, 6A. 

" These RTC's received white selectees only during this period. Negro men for these 
services and the Air Forces were assigned directly to units from reception centers 
or were trained at a BIRTC. Finance RTC, in addition to receiving no Negroes, 
received no Class V men. 

* Most graduates of branch immaterial replacement training centers were assigned to 
the Infantry. 

to volunteer as aviation cadets in the Air Corps. Transferred to the Air Forces, 
they might not succeed in becoming fliers. If not, they were retained by the Air 
Forces in ground positions. Many enlisted men, of sufficiently good physique and 
intelligence to qualify originally as aviation cadets, were shifted by this process 
from AGF units, in which they would probably have become at least squad or 
platoon leaders in combat, to the ground installations of the Air Forces, in which 
their functions were predominantly technical and mechanical. The Air Forces 
enjoyed this advantage in addition to obtaining large numbers of volunteer 
aviation cadets directly from the reception centers, and in addition also to the 
preferential assignment of high-quality men to AAF basic training centers under 
the rules in effect until June 1943. 




Distribution by AGCT Classes of All Men Inducted into the Army, Processed 
at Reception Centers, and Assigned to the Various Arms 
and Services during 1943 


Classes I and II 

Class III 

Classes IV and V 























Service Command 








Miscellaneous (in- 

cludes Finance and 

iviiiiidxy lutein - 








Army Air Forces .... 






















Chemical Warfare. . 




























5 5,145 















Branch Immaterial* . 

























































TOTAL .... 








Ground Combat 
Army Air Forces .... 








Source: Compiled by Historical Division, WDSS, from statistics of the AGO Classification 
and Replacement Branch reports on Forms XOC-62, 63, 64. 

a Less than 0.05 percent. 

* Most men assigned to branch immaterial were subsequently assigned to the Infantry. 



From an initially limited and constantly depleted stock of men in the higher 
AGCT grades the Army Ground Forces had to meet its own requirements for 
officer candidates, for men to be sent to enlisted specialist courses at the service 
schools, for parachute volunteers, and for cadremen for new units. Men remain- 
ing with their organizations were a very much picked-over lot. One commander 
observed in a moment of extreme discouragement that his hardest problem was 
to find competent enlisted men to act as instructors, because "everybody higher 
than a moron" had been pulled out for one reason or another. 6 

Lt. Gen. Ben Lear, Commanding General, Second Army, suggested in July 
1942 that the ground arms should conduct a program of advertising of the kind 
used by the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Forces, and some branches of the 
Service Forces. In October he urged that 7 

instead of offering "bait," we offer blood and sweat, and tell of the honor of the "hard way" 
by which, only, will this war be won. Once we have told them that, we can also tell them of 
opportunities for advancement. . . . We are scratching the bottom of the barrel now for officer 
candidates. We are decidedly short of the right material for noncommissioned officer leaders. 
We will pay for this dearly in battle. 

Advertising was distasteful to General McNair. Yet the unpopularity of the 
Ground Forces was evident. Many speakers, including the Commanding General 
of the Army Service Forces, kept the public informed of the Army's technical 
needs. 8 General McNair undertook to stress combat needs in a radio talk on 
Armistice Day 1942, but addressed himself primarily to the men under his own 
command. 9 Warning against preferences for "the more genteel forms of war- 
fare," he reminded his hearers that war was a matter of killing and that the 
American soldier had better put himself in a killing mood before reaching the 
battlefield. The "killer speech" caused unfavorable public comment, even after 
a year of declared war with enemies well known to be ruthless. Talking about the 
realities of war might win sympathy for the individual combat soldier, but it did 
not make the Army Ground Forces more popular with the average selectee. 

Field commanders in 1942 protested repeatedly to Headquarters, Army 
Ground Forces, that they were receiving men of too low a mental quality to be 
trained. They said it was dangerous to entrust lethal weapons to men in AGCT 

"Personal kr of a commanding officer to Brig Gen J. M. Lentz, 22 Jun 43. Lentz Correspondence. 
'Personal ltrs, Gen Lear to Gen McNair, 31 Jul and 22 Oct 42. Personal files of Gen Lear. 
'Address by Gen Somervell, 28 Aug 42. 353.9/22. 

' "Armistice Day Address by Lt Gen L. J. McNair, 1 1 Nov 42." AWC Library, Collection of McNair 



Class V, and wasteful to develop elaborate and expensive equipment and then 
place it in the hands of men incapable of using it properly. The antiaircraft, 
armored, tank destroyer, and airborne commanders stressed the special intricacy 
of their problems, 10 using an argument which the Air Forces had emphasized in 
seeking preferential assignment of personnel. The Antiaircraft Artillery Com- 
mand declared that study of Tables of Organization showed that not more than 
25 percent of the enlisted men in antiaircraft batteries could be of Classes IV and 
V, and requested permission to remove all Class V men in excess of 10 percent. 11 
For airborne divisions it was proposed that all Class V men be removed. 12 The 
Replacement and School Command, pointing out that demonstration units had 
to function with great accuracy in the instruction of student officers, and declar- 
ing that they could not do so because of the high proportion of their Class IV and 
V men, requested a preferential status in assignment of high-grade men. 13 Com- 
manders of tactical units very commonly asked for temporary preference until 
their units could be brought up to the Army average. 14 It was not at first realized 
in the field that the Army average was no longer the average for the ground arms. 

These requests were rejected by General McNair. 15 He would grant no 
preference within the Ground Forces unless absolutely necessary. He insisted 
that the Army must deal with the manpower of the country as it found it, and 
that to favor one element in the Ground Forces would inevitably injure the 
others. An exception was made only for airborne divisions, which were author- 
ized to clear out their Class IV and V men in excess of the Army average. 16 Since 
the Army average was better than the average for the ground arms, this policy 
constituted preferential treatment for the airborne divisions, but the airborne 
divisions constituted only about 2 percent of the strength of the Ground Forces. 

1<( (1) AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 10 May 42- 3*7-3/m- (2) AGF 1st ind to Armd F, 3 Sep 42. 341/" 
(Armd F>. (3) AGF 2d ind to TDC, 20 Jul 42. 327.3/239. (4) See footnotes 11 and 12. 

a AAC ltrs to CG AGF, 27 Apr and 15 Jul 42, sub: Class V Men Received at AA RTCs. 327.3/209. 
11 101st A/B Div ltr to CG AGF, 7 Sep 42, sub: Qualification of Repls Received by 101st A/B Div. 

13 (1) Papers in 327.3/300, Aug-Oct 42. (2) RSiSC ltr (R) to G-i AGF, 4 Dec 42, sub: Classification 
of Pers in Sch Trs. 301.6/6 (R). 

" AGF 2d ind to II Corps, 26 May 42. 220.01/1 (4th Div). 

M (1) AGF D/F, 13 May 42, sub: Allotments of EM. 327.3/7 (SS Men) (R). (2) AGF M/S, G-i to 
G-3, 31 Jul 42, sub: Class and Grades of Men Received at AA Tng Cens. 327.3/209. (3) AGF M/S, AG 
Classification to G-3, 30 Jul 42. 3 2 7-3/3°i- 

** AGF ltr to CGs, 1 8 Sep 42, sub: Improvement of Pers in A/B Divs. 201.31 / 106 (A/B). 



Preferential Assignment to the Army Air Forces 

As previously observed, the unfavorable effect of the classification system 
on the assignment to the Army Ground Forces of the type of personnel needed 
for its purposes was not at first appreciated and became fully evident only as 
experience accumulated. Army Ground Forces was preoccupied during 1942 and 
the first half of 1943 with the similar but more conspicuous effects of War 
Department rulings which accorded preference to the Army Air Forces in the 
assignment of inductees. 

In January 1942 the Army Air Forces informed the War Department that 
almost half the men received by the Air Corps in 1941 had lacked the intelligence 
necessary for technical training, that comparative study of Tables of Organiza- 
tion showed a greater need in the Air Corps than in the other arms and services 
for highly trained technicians, and that "failure to properly accomplish the para- 
mount mission of the Air Corps" might be expected unless corrective action was 
taken. It was recommended that 75 percent of all white inductees shipped from 
reception centers to the Army Air Forces have an AGCT score of 100 or over. 17 
This recommendation was put into effect on 2 February 1942 by order of the War 
Department. 18 

To be understood this decision must be viewed in the light of broad strategic 
considerations with which the Army and the Nation were faced. At the beginning 
of 1942 it was already evident that rapid expansion of American air power was 
necessary if the Axis powers were to be held at bay for sufficient time to bring the 
full strength of the United States military might to the aid of the Allies. It also 
seemed clear, with Allied control of the high seas in doubt, that the first chance 
the United States would have to deal an offensive blow would be with its air arm. 
The problem of expansion imposed on the Air Forces was staggering. At the end 
of 1 94 1 the Army Air Forces numbered only 350,000 out of a total army of 
1,650,000 then mobilized. To meet the requirements of Allied strategy, the War 
Department in the Troop Basis of January 1942 called for expansion of the Air 
Forces within a year to a strength of 998,000 and, as soon as practicable, to 
2,000,000. In August 1942 the goal was raised to 2,200,000. Expanding more 

" AAF memo (R) for CofS USA, 24 Jan 42, sub: Intel Tests for Air Corps EM Prior to Entry in the 
Serv. AGO Records, 201.6 (1-24-42) ER (R). 

18 WD ltr (R) AG 201.6 (1-24-42) ER to CG First Corps Area, 2 Feb 42, sub: Intel Tests for Air Corps 
EM. AGO Records (R). 



rapidly than called for by initial plans, the Army Air Forces numbered nearly 
1,600,000 officers and men by the end of 1942. 

To obtain the technical skills necessary for this swift and prodigious expan- 
sion the Army Air Forces, like the Ground Forces, was inadequately served by a 
system of classification based primarily on civilian skills. The development of the 
aviation industry was so far below the needs of war that the Air Forces, like the 
ground combat arms, was obliged to train men after induction in almost complete 
disregard of civilian vocation. There was no accepted criterion of the relative 
difficulty of comparable jobs in the various arms and services. 19 The a priori 
argument advanced by the Air Forces in the absence of such a criterion was a 
strong one. 

General McNair freely expressed his appreciation of the difficulties which 
the Air Forces faced in expanding rapidly while preparing to meet its extraordi- 
nary responsibilities. In August 1942 be wrote regarding a failure of the Air 
Forces to cooperate in joint training: "They are extended beyond their capacity 
and we simply must be patient while they get straightened out and catch up with 
the procession." 20 On 30 December 1942 he wrote to Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, 
Commanding General of the Army Air Forces : "As I have said many times to 
you and other air officers, the Ground Forces appreciate the tremendous load 
which the Army Air Forces are carrying, the difficulties they face in expanding 
so rapidly and so enormously, and the fact that they are fighting heavily in many 
theaters." 21 On the other hand, the policy of preferential assignment had been 
declared by the War Department to be a temporary expedient, and it was clearly 
General McNair 's duty to point out the effect on the ground arms of the measures 

"The following table, though based on samples too small to justify firm conclusions, suggests that a 
man of given intelligence would probably find it more difficult to become a tank mechanic at Fort Knox than 
an airplane mechanic at Chanute Field. The sampling indicated that, in certain comparable courses, the chances 
of men obtaining an average or better grade were as follows: 

Course School Chances per 100 Number of Men 

AGCT in Sample 





Airplane Mechanics 

Chanute Field 







Automotive Mechanics 

Fort Knox 






Tank Mechanics 

Fort Knox 







Source: WD TM 12-260, "Personnel Classification Tests," 31 Dec 42. 

"Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Col Sterling Wood, 20 Aug 42, no sub. 353/128 (Air Gd). 
** Memo (C) of Gen McNair for CG AAF, 30 Dec 42, sub: Aviation in Support of Ground Forces. 
353/4 (AirGd) (C). 



deemed necessary to strengthen the Air Forces. In protesting the drain of intel- 
ligent men to the Air Forces, he rested the case of the Ground Forces on the need 
of such men as junior leaders in combat. In time he came to believe that the actual 
effect of the policies of Army assignment as applied in 1942 and 1943 was to give 
the Air Forces a degree of preference greater than the War Department had 

Officers in the War Department General Staff, particularly G-i, recognized 
the bad effects on the rest of the Army of preferential assignment to the Air 
Forces. 22 On 2 June 1942 General McNair, to support G-i, for the first time 
formally protested. 23 He noted, citing such figures as were then available, that 
continuation of the 75-percent rule for the Air Forces would jeopardize the 
officer candidate program of the ground arms, and that the using up of qualified 
Class I and Class II men as officer candidates would lower the quality of non- 
commissioned officers, "despite the fact that the nature of the current war indi- 
cates that a high premium must be placed upon the leadership of small units in 
order to attain success." He recommended rescission of the 75-percent rule and 
assignment at reception centers according to occupational experience or aptitude. 
The same view was taken by Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding Gen- 
eral of the Services of Supply, who, in a personal memorandum for the Deputy 
Chief of Staff, pronounced the 75-percent rule "contrary to the best interests of the 
Army as a whole." 24 On 18 July 1942 the 75-percent rule was rescinded. 25 

General Arnold appealed to the Chief of Staff on 29 August for a reinstate- 
ment of preferential assignment. 26 The rapid commitment of air units to combat, 
he said, made necessary a great speeding up of training, which was feasible only 
with men of a high order of intelligence. He declared that since the rescission of 
the 75-percent rule the Army Air Forces was not receiving enough high-intel- 
ligence personnel to meet its requirements, and recommended that, of the 70,000 
inductees then being received monthly by the Air Forces from reception centers, 

" (l) AGF M/S, G-i to GofS, 28 May 42, sub: Distrib of EM according to Intel Class. (2) WD memo 
WDGAP 220.31 for CofS USA, 6 Jun 42, sub: Asgmt of EM from Recp Cens. Both in 327.3/212. 

53 Memo of Gen McNair for G-i WD, 2 Jun 42, sub: Distribution of EM according to Intel Classification. 

14 SOS memo (S) SPEX of Gen Somervell for DCofS USA, 13 Jul 42. AGO Records, 220.31 (6-2-42XS). 

" (1) WD priority telg AG 324.71 (7-17-42) EC to CG First Corps Area, iS Jul 42. 327.3/212. (2) 
WD Memo W61 5-1 3-42, 27 Aug 42, sub: Reqmt and Repl Rates for Occupational and Mil Specls. 

"Memo (C) of Gen Arnold for CofS USA, 29 Aug 42, sub: Asgmt of EM for AAF from Recp Cens. 
AGO Records, 220.31 (6-2-42) (C). 

2 4 


52,000 (almost 75 percent) should have a score of at least 100 in both the Army 
General Classification Test and the Mechanical Aptitude Test. 

General McNair advised against reinstatement of preference. He wrote to 
the War Department on 2 September 1942 : 27 

I am opposed to the action recommended by the Commanding General, Army Air 
Forces. . . . 

Practically all the comments . . . apply with equal force to the Army Ground Forces. It 
would be a fairly simple matter to compile data showing that not less than 66% of the men 
distributed to the Army Ground Forces from reception centers must have an AGCT score 
of 100 or better if the Army Ground Forces is to accomplish its mission. . . . 

Since there was not this proportion of high-scoring men in the country, such 
preference to one branch must unavoidably injure another. The letter of General 
McNair continued : 

The Army Air Forces have sources of manpower which are not available to the Army 
Ground Forces. They are permitted to drain the Army Ground Forces of all acceptable 
material for aviation cadets, air crew and glider pilot training. They secure a large number 
of highly intelligent personnel by recruiting. 

The enormous problems of the Air Forces are appreciated. They should be assisted in 
every reasonable way. It is felt that the Ground Forces are contributing materially in develop- 
ing the Air Forces and it is desired to increase this aid wherever practicable. While the Air 
Forces have heavy and important needs in enlisted technicians, they have a large proportion 
of commissioned officers (well over twice as large) which should permit the effective utili- 
zation of enlisted men of average intelligence. . . . The Ground Forces admittedly have fewer 
technical demands than the Air Forces, but need high-grade and intelligent enlisted men as 
combat leaders. . . . Thus it is reasonable to assert that the needs of the Ground Forces for 
high-grade leadership by non-commissioned officers counterbalance the needs of the Air 
Forces for enlisted technicians. 

General Somervell, also, registered the protest of the Services of Supply. He 
declared that the 75-percent rule had handicapped both Army Ground Forces 
and Services of Supply, "particularly," he said (arguing the AGF case), "in the 
procurement and development of combat leaders." 28 

The problem was difficult. The decision had been made to employ air power 
in Europe on a large scale before the extensive employment of ground power. 
General Arnold rested the AAF case on over-all strategic plans which required 
development of aviation with the utmost speed. As a temporary solution the War 

"Memo of Gen McNair for G-i WD, 2 Sep 42, sub: Asgmt of EM for AAF from Recp Cens. 

a ASF memo (S) SPGAE 220.3 (9~5-42)-i5 of Gen Somervell for G-i WD, 5 Sep 42, sub as in n. 27. 
AGO Records, 220.31 (6-2-42) (S). 



Department on 7 September 1942 ordered that the monthly quotas of the Air 
Forces for September and October include 50,000 men scoring 100 or better in 
both the AGCT and the Mechanical Aptitude Test. Approval was later extended 
through November. 29 This new preferential policy favored the Air Forces even 
more than the old 75-percent rule; although roughly half the men tested scored 
100 on each test, only about 33 percent scored 100 on both. 30 Combining two kinds 
of ability, these men were exceptionally desirable. The Army Air Forces was now 
due to receive almost three-quarters of the new personnel assigned to it at 
reception centers from the top third of the available manpower. 

G—i of the War Department, supported by G—3, continued to oppose prefer- 
ential assignment except as a temporary expedient. G-i observed in September 
that the training problem of the Air Forces was common to the whole Army, and 
expressed a belief that the Army Air Forces was using men in positions not com- 
mensurate with their ability. 31 This belief was confirmed by a report of The 
Inspector General dated 13 November 1942. More than a third of the privates at 
various air bases, according to The Inspector General, were men in AGCT 
Classes I and II. Over half of these high-intelligence privates were acting in such 
jobs as "messengers, warehousemen, clerks, guards, orderlies, truck-drivers, fire- 
men and assistant cooks." The Inspector General recommended that preferential 
assignment be suspended until the Army Air Forces effected a better distribution 
of its high-intelligence manpower. 32 It will be recalled that AGCT Classes I and 
II were the source of all officer candidates, and of the best noncommissioned 
officers, for the whole Army. 

Also on 13 November, without having seen The Inspector General's report 
of that date, General McNair protested against the new preferential policy, which 
AGF officers regarded as an appalling diversion of the national intelligence from 
leadership into technical and mechanical jobs. General McNair cited a letter in 
which Lt Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower noted the weakness of junior leadership 
among American troops in Great Britain. He warned that it might become neces- 
sary to lower the qualifications for officer candidates in the ground arms from 

" (1) WD memo (C) WDCSA 220.31 (0-2-42) for CG AAF, 7 Sep 42, sub as in n. 27. AGO Records, 
220.3 (6-2-42). (2) TWX, TAG to Serv Comds, 2 Oct 42. 327.3/212. 

110 AGF M/S, AG Classification to G—i, 6 Nov 42, sub: Notes on Air Corps 75% Policy. 327.3/212. 

"WD memo (C) WDGAP 220.31 for CofS USA, 18 Sep 42, sub: Asgmt of Recruits to Arms and Servj 
from Recp Gens. With concurrence of G—3, 24 Sep. AGO Records, 220.31 (6-2-42) (C). 

"Extract from IG rpt attached as Tab 5 to WD memo (S) WDGAP 220.31 for CofS USA, 25 Nov 42, 
sub: Asgmt of Recruits to Arms and Servs from Recp Cens. AGO Records, 220.31 (6-2-42) (S). 



no to 90, or from the bottom of Class II to the bottom of Class III. "While I do 
not undertake to pass on the merits of the situation as a whole," he remarked in 
his memorandum to the War Department, "there is little doubt that the prevail- 
ing policy is having a detrimental effect on the leadership of the Ground 
Forces." 33 

Despite the views expressed by the Commanding Generals of the Army 
Ground Forces and of the Services of Supply, the recommendations of the two 
General Staff sections principally concerned, and the findings and recommenda- 
tions of The Inspector General, it was nevertheless ruled on 28 November 1942, 
over the signature of the Deputy Chief of Staff, that "the Air Force contention 
must be recognized," and that preferential assignment to the Air Forces, kept 
for three months on a temporary basis, would remain in effect until 30 June 
1943. 34 During this period 55 percent of the men assigned to the Air Forces by 
reception centers were to have scores of at least 100 on both the AGCT and the 
Mechanical Aptitude Test. Under the new 55-percent rule, as under the previous 
preferential policies, volunteer aviation cadets enlisted as such were not included 
in the quotas assigned to the Air Forces ; this high-caliber group was obtained by 
the Air Forces independent^ of the normal assignments from reception centers. 

The 55-percent rule was discontinued on 1 June 1943, a month before it was 
due to expire. Ground Forces officers again believed preferential assignment to 
be a thing of the past. But in effect preference was continued by a new procedure 
introduced at reception centers for the recruiting of aviation cadets. On 3 June 
1943 the War Department directed that any inductee at a reception center who 
expressed a desire for flying training should be immediately assigned to the Air 
Forces as an aviation cadet if he met certain requirements. He was required to 
be a native-born citizen, between eighteen and twenty-six years of age, with a 
score of at least 100 on the AGCT, and "apparently" qualified physically for 
aviation-cadet training. 35 

In adopting this procedure the War Department sought to correct two condi- 
tions regarded as undesirable. One was the effect that lowering the draft age to 

** (i) Memo of Gen McNair for G-i WD, 13 Nov 42, sub: Preferential Treatment of AAF in Asgmt of 
Enl Pers. (2) AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 27 Oct 42, sub: Notes on Air Corps 75% Policy. Both in 327.3/212. 

" (1) WD memo (S) WDCSA 220.31 (9-2-42) of Gen McNarney for G-3 WD, 28 Nov 42, sub: Asgmt 
of Recruits to Arms and Servs. AGO Records, 220.31 (6-2-42) (S). (2) WD memo WDGAP 220.31 for 
TAG, 29 Nov 42, sub: Recruits for the Air Corps. AGF Plans Sec file 155. 

* WD ltr AG 221 Avn Cadets (5-15-43) OC-E-WDGAP to CGs, Serv Comds, 3 Jun 43, sub: Selection 
of Qualified Applicants for Flying Tng as Avn Cadets (Air Crew) at Recp Cens. 327.3/548. 



eighteen had had in reducing the number of aviation cadets whom the Air Forces 
could attract as volunteers from civilian life through the Air Corps Enlisted 
Reserve. The other was the transfer to the Air Forces, as aviation cadets, of 
enlisted men already assigned and trained in Ground Forces organizations. 

The latter drain and its disruptive effect on ground units had long been a 
subject of serious grievance to the Army Ground Forces. Under War Depart- 
ment policies in force any qualified enlisted man had been allowed to apply 
either for flying training or for officer candidate school. 38 Army Ground Forces 
conceded that fliers had to be of high caliber. It objected to the system of voluntary 
transfer only when it was used to obtain men for ground positions in the Air 
Forces. In short, it did not concede that Air Forces ground personnel had to be 
generally of higher mental and physical caliber than enlisted men in combat 
ground units. Yet such was the outcome of assigning to ground positions in the 
Air Forces men from ground units who, initially accepted as aviation cadets, had 
failed to be commissioned as pilots. As early as April 1942 the Chief of Staff of 
the Ground Forces, Maj. Gen. Mark W. Clark, recommended that aviation 
cadets recruited from AGF personnel be subjected to more careful examination 
so that those not ultimately used by the Air Forces as fliers might remain with 
the Ground Forces. 37 As late as December 1943 the AGF Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. 
James G. Christiansen, observed to the War Department that of 1,800 aviation 
cadets obtained from the 44th Division in the preceding summer not one had 
returned to the Ground Forces, despite the certainty that not all had qualified for 
flying positions. 38 If it was necessary to select aviation cadets on liberal grounds, 
and then to reject large numbers as fliers, the Army Ground Forces desired that 
rejects originating with the ground arms be returned, 39 

Thus, one of the objects sought by the War Department through the new 
procedure for recruiting aviation cadets adopted on 3 June 1943 was to relieve 
this pressure on ground units by liberalizing the recruitment of air cadets at 
reception centers. Flight surgeons stationed at reception centers, after determin- 

M (1) AR 615-160, 5 Nov 42. (2) WD Memo W615-55-43, 26 Jun 43, sub: Procedure on Applications 
from EM for Avn Cadet (Air Crew) Tng. 221/55 (Avn Cadets). 

"AGF memo for G-i WD, 30 Apr 42, sub: Procedure for Application and Enlmt of Avn Cadets. 
221/22 (Flying Cadets). 

"Tab B (S), sub: Summary of Conf on Medical Standards and Personnel, WD Gen Council Min (S), 
13 Dec 43. 

*° (t) AGF memo for G-i WD, 5 Aug 43, sub: Disposition of Non-Graduates of OCS and Avn Cadet 
Tng. 352/462 (OCS). (2) WD ltr AG 352 (5 Aug 43) OC-E-WDGAP to CG AGF, 16 Nov 43, sub as 
in (1). With atchd comment by G-i AGF. 352/479 (OCS). 



ing which inductees on a given day possessed qualifications for becoming avia- 
tion cadets, asked them if they desired to apply for flying training. To those who 
replied in the affirmative the flight surgeons gave a simple color-blindness test, 
adding nothing else to the physical examination as reported from the induction 
stations. Volunteers were also told that if they failed ultimately to be accepted as 
fliers they would remain in the Air Forces in ground positions. 40 Under this 
system, which became effective on i August 1943, the percentage of high-grade 
men received by the Air Forces from reception centers was greatly increased. In 
the last half of 1943 nearly 50 percent of the inductees shipped to the Air Forces 
fell in AGCT Classes I and II (with scores over no), while only 30 percent of 
the inductees shipped to the ground arms fell in these categories. 

The Ground Forces obtained certain concessions in the aviation cadet system. 
Recruiting at reception centers continued until March 1944, but in August 1943 
the War Department made clear that, while enlisted men were free to apply, 
direct individual proselyting was forbidden. 41 In November 1943, facing a 
replacement crisis in infantry, the War Department ordered that aviation cadets 
should not be accepted from trainees in replacement training centers of either the 
Army Ground Forces or the Army Service Forces. 42 Finally, in March 1944, the 
need for aviation cadets having abated, the War Department ordered that no 
cadets should henceforth be taken from AGF or ASF units. 43 In the same month, 
also, as the infantry crisis grew more acute, the War Department reversed its 
priorities to the extent of transferring some 30,000 aviation cadets to the Army 
Ground Forces, mainly for use in the Infantry. 

The Army Specialized Training Program and the Army Ground Forces 

The critical shortage of infantrymen in the winter of 1943-44 was largely 
responsible for the virtual liquidation in February 1944 of the Army Specialized 
Training Program (ASTP), which had been initiated at the close of 1942 on 
broad grounds of public interest and policy. The ASTP had been approved by the 
Secretary of War in September 1942, in anticipation of the lowering of the draft 
age from twenty to eighteen. The program was established primarily to ensure a 

40 AGF M/S, C&RD to AG, 10 Nov 43, sub: Recp Cen Procedures in Asgmt of Pers to AAF. 327.3/548. 

"■ (1) Papers in 221/57 (Flying Cadets). (2) AGF WkJy Dir, 10 Aug 43. 

u WD memo WDGCT 320 RTC for CGs AGF, ASF, 15 Nov 43, sub: RTCs. 341/1 173. 

" Cir 93, WD, 3 Mar 44. 


2 9 

continuous flow of technically and professionally trained men for the prosecution 
of the war, men who could not be procured without deferments if the draft 
age should be lowered to eighteen. Continuous replenishment of the national 
stock of young men with such training was an urgent necessity, especially if the 
war should last more than four or five years. 44 There were strong arguments for 
training them in the colleges and universities. The training and educational 
facilities of the Army were believed to be insufficient in extent and character to 
give the type of education required. Moreover, the use of the colleges and univer- 
sities would protect these institutions from impoverishment or collapse, and the 
provision of students by the Army might be expected to lower the resistance of 
civilian educators to the reduction of the draft age to eighteen. To avoid the short- 
comings of the Student Army Training Corps of World War I, the plan for the 
ASTP was to be tied firmly to the military program of the Army. Selected 
enlisted men were to be assigned to various colleges and universities for academic 
instruction, but only after they had received basic military training, which was to 
be continued under a cadet organization while they were in college. Under the 
plan proposed, the Army would be assured of receiving from each oncoming age 
group a due proportion of men with advanced training, shaped with reference to 
ultimate military requirements. At first it was contemplated that most of these 
men would become officers after completing their college work. 

On 30 September 1942 Army Ground Forces was requested to submit, within 
five days, its plan for application of the program to the Ground Forces. Given the 
effect of current policies on the quality of men being assigned to the Army 
Ground Forces in 1942, such a program was bound to present itself to that com- 
mand as another means by which men of the higher intelligence levels would be 
withheld or withdrawn from combat positions. With four or five divisions being 
activated each month, and preferential assignment to the Air Forces in full effect, 
this was the period of worst personnel shortage in the history of the Ground 
Forces and of great strain in the procurement of officer candidates. "With 300,000 
men short," exclaimed the AGF G-3, "we are asked to send men to college!" 45 

General McNair, taking a grave view of the Nation's requirements for 
effective strength in combat, based his opposition to the ASTP on strictly military 

** (i ) Joint Statement of Secretaries of War and Navy Depts, 17 Dec 42. (2) WD memo WDGAP 353 for 
CG SOS, 25 Sep 42, sub: The Army College Tng Programs Necessary to Provide Required College-Trained 
Men for Future Needs. 353/119 (S). 

" AGF M/S (S), G-3 to G-i, 30 Sep 42, sub as in n. 44 (2). 353/"9 (S). 


considerations. Confronted with the ASTP proposal of 30 September 1942, he 
observed that a college program would further deplete units in training of high- 
grade men and would compete with the program of officer candidate schools, 
whose quotas the Ground Forces were already having difficulty in filling. He 
recommended that the college program not be launched until it was clear that the 
war would last beyond 1944. 46 For the time being the Army, in his opinion, had 
a sufficient backlog of college-trained men. Fourteen percent of the men who 
had entered the Army in 1942 had had some degree of college education, and 
General McNair believed that, in view of the general policy of providing liberal 
opportunities for promotion and of tapping all available manpower, not more 
than a quarter of the officer corps need be college graduates. Fearing that the 
military discipline and the few hours of military training received by ASTP men 
in colleges might be considered the equivalent of regular Army training, he 
advised against the introduction of this phase of the program. "If it is necessary 
to keep men in college to provide Army officers, then their whole effort might 
well be placed on academic studies, because, presumably, that is the reason for 
their going to college." 47 

The decision to institute the program had already been made when General 
McNair submitted these observations on 4 October 1942. With them he submitted 
a plan as requested. The plan took the form of estimates, necessarily hurried, of 
the number of graduates of the proposed program which Army Ground Forces 
could use. The organizers of the program construed these estimates as a statement 
that the Ground Forces "required" these graduates. 48 Army Ground Forces 
immediately disclaimed this interpretation. It was reiterated that, in the arms for 
which the Army Ground Forces was responsible, the supply of college men 
would last through 1944 and the facilities of the normal officer candidate schools 
were sufficient for officer training. 49 

The Army Specialized Training Program was formally established in 
December 1942. It differed from some of the preliminary proposals in placing 
attention not so much on the production of officers as on the production of special- 
ists who might or might not ultimately be commissioned. The specialties were 

"AGF memo (S) for CG SOS, 4 Oct 42, sub: The Army College Tng Prog. 353/"° (S) 
" AGFM/S (S),DCofS toG-i, 6 Sep 42, sub as in n. 44 (2). 353/119 (S). 

48 Memo (S) of Col Herman Beukema for CG AGF, 4 Dec 42, sub: 1943 Reqmts of Offs Educated at 
College Level under ASTP. 353/119 (S). 

" AGF memo (S) for CG SOS (attn Col Beukema), 11 Dec 42, sub as in n. 48. 353/119 (S). 



chiefly scientific, engineering, medical, and linguistic. The maximum number of 
men to be in the program at any given time was set at 150,000. Enlisted men under 
twenty-two years of age, and having an AGCT score of no or more, were eligible. 
For advanced study men over twenty-two might be sent. "The mission of the 
Army Specialized Training Program," it was announced in February 1943, "is to 
prepare personnel for officer candidate schools and for other military tasks." 50 

On 25 January 1943 General McNair asked for reconsideration. 51 The Army 
Ground Forces feared that all Class I and most Class II men of the 18-22 age 
bracket would be taken from the ground combat arms, trained as specialists and 
technicians, and hence on leaving college be assigned to other forces for the dura- 
tion of the war. The result would be to aggravate for Army Ground Forces the 
unfavorable consequences of the vocational emphasis in the classification system 
and of preference given the Air Forces in the distribution of intelligent personnel. 
General McNair asked that the Ground Forces be assured at least of receiving 
back from the ASTP the same number of Classes I and II men as might be trans- 
ferred from the Ground Forces into the program — a request which, though 
urged upon the War Department, was not met. The answer given to the request 
for reconsideration was that the fears of Army Ground Forces arose from an 
erroneous and narrow conception of the program. The program, according to 
G-i of the War Department, was designed to benefit the Army as a whole. It 
would not jeopardize the procurement of officer candidates; graduates would be 
assigned to the several arms and services in accordance with branch requirements 
for "specialized training." 52 

So critical did its own needs appear that Army Ground Forces thought it 
necessary to take measures by which it could receive back, or "require," ASTP 
graduates within the terms laid down by the War Department. Army Ground 
Forces was consistently disposed to value leadership above specialization. But 
with the ASTP in operation, many of the best potential leaders in the younger 

" (i) WD Memo W3 50-1 44-42, 23 Dec 42, sub: Army and Navy Plans for the Use of College Facilities. 
353/i (ASTP). (2) WD Memo W350-36-43, 19 Feb 43, sub: ASTP: General Information and Procedures 
for Selection of Pers. 353/21 (ASTP). (3) WD Memo W350-47-43, 1 Mar 43, sub: ASTP Orgn and Opn. 
353/20 (ASTP). 

n Memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 25 Jan 43, sub: ASTP. 353/10 (ASTP). 

B (i)WD memo WDGAP 353 for CG AGF, 2 Feb 43, sub: ASTP. 353/10 (ASTP). (2) Memo of Gen 
McNair for G-l WD, 12 Feb 43, sub and location as in (1). (3) WD memo WDGAP 353 (2-15-43), 
2 Mar 43, sub and location as in (1). (4) AGF memo for G-i WD, 30 Jun 43, sub: Disposition of ASTP 
Trainees at End of Term. 353/60 (ASTP). (5) WD memo WDGAP 353 (1 Jul 43) for CG AGF, 16 Jul 43, 
sub and location as in (4). 



age group would be obtainable only in the guise of specialists. To fill its need 
for intelligent personnel, Army Ground Forces had to express a need for men 
with specialized training. 

One device was to make sure that the ASTP included courses of study useful 
to the ground arms. 53 If the colleges taught such subjects, Army Ground Forces 
could claim students on the basis of their specialized training. AGF staff officers, 
in conference with the Army Specialized Training Division and with civilian 
educators, arranged for courses to be given in basic engineering, surveying, inter- 
nal combustion engines, communications, and acoustics and optics. Training in 
most of these subjects could be of value to any ground arm; the course in acoustics 
and optics was designed for artillerymen. 

Numerical requirements of the Ground Forces for graduates of the ASTP 
were submitted on 27 March 1943. 54 Elaborate computations were made; though 
in the end they were not used, they illustrated the way in which the Army 
Ground Forces believed the program could be employed. The stated need for 
1944 was 52,404 men, distributed among types of specialized training as follows : 

Scientific Field Total Percent of 

ASTP Engi- &■ Mathe- Imma- AGF Total AGF 

Program neering matical Languages terial Requirements Requirements 

Advanced (4 yrs. college) 9,263 2,311 4,529 16,103 3 1 

Basic (2 yrs. college) 26,181 5,419 4>7 01 36,301 69 

TOTAL 9,263 26,181 7,730 9,230 52,404 100 

These men were to be assigned, in proportions computed by the Army 
Ground Forces, to the various ground combat arms. Graduates of the Advanced 
ASTP (except engineers) were too specialized for exact assignment in the combat 
arms, and were less desired by the Army Ground Forces than were Basics (2-year 
college men). Later, in 1943, the Ground Forces called for 80 percent of Basics, 
hoping to obtain high-intelligence personnel for duty with troops as quickly as 
possible. 55 

B (1) AGF M/S, G-i Enl Div to G-i, 13 Apr 43, sub: ASTP. 353/35 (ASTP). (2) AGF M/S, CofS to 
G-i, 20 Jul 43, sub: Disposition of ASTP Trainees at End of Term. 353/60 (ASTP). (3) ASTD memo 
SPASC/350 Engr (9 Sep 43) to CG AGF, 9 Sep 43, sub: Formal Concurrence on ASTP Curricula. 353/109 

"Memo (R) of Gen McNair for G-i WD, 27 Mar 43, sub: Opn of ASTP. 353/1 (ASTP) (R). 
m AGF M/S, G-i to G-3, 12 Nov 43, sub: Revised Demand Schedule for ASTP. 220.3/5 (ASTP). 



Of these 52,404 ASTP graduates the Army Ground Forces proposed, in 
March 1943, that all the 16,103 4-year college men and 13,421 of the 2-year college 
men be allowed to attend officer candidate schools. The figures were based on 
the concept that 25 percent of officers should be college graduates, 25 percent 
should have two years of college, and 50 percent should be commissioned on 
grounds of performance in the field irrespective of education. The reduction of 
the Troop Basis in June 1943, reducing the anticipated requirements for officers, 
made it impossible to consider commissioning so many ASTP graduates, long 
before the ASTP itself came to a virtual end. 

The ASTP went into full operation on the campuses in the spring of 1943. 
The first college units were recruited, not from new inductees, but from men 
already in training. During 1943 about 100,000 students for the program were 
taken from the three major forces, and about 50,000 from new inductees. 

Selection of the new inductees was by complex and constantly fluctuating 
procedures. 56 At first the required AGCT score was 1 10 — the same as for officer 
candidates. It was soon raised to 1 15. At first it was intended to rely on voluntary 
applications of the kind used in recruiting officer candidates and aviation cadets. 
This not proving feasible, all eligible enlisted men were automatically passed 
through a testing and screening process (frequently altered), after which com- 
manders designated those to be sent to college. Those eligible consisted of all 
enlisted men (with various exceptions, such as men in alerted units), who had 
completed basic training or part of it, who if under twenty-two had had a high- 
school education or its equivalent, and who if over twenty-two had had at least 
one year of college (with certain other conditions), and who in any case had an 
AGCT score of 115. Unit commanders, suffering constant drains to other activi- 
ties, showed a want of alacrity in designating men for ASTP. Gen. George C. 
Marshall issued a memorandum explaining the ASTP and insisting on its sup- 
port. Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, circulated this memorandum to the 
field for compliance. 57 

The Army Ground Forces supplied about 47 percent of the ASTP trainees 
drawn from the three major commands in May-July 1943. Even superficially 

M (i) WD Memo W350-36-43, 19 Feb 43, sub: ASTP Gen Information and Procedures for Selection 
of Pers. 353/21 (ASTP). (2) AGF memo for G-i WD, 16 Mar 43, sub: Opn of ASTP. 353/10 (ASTP). (3) 
WD Memo W350-198-43, 17 Jul 43, sub: Gen Qualifications for ASTP. 353/81 (ASTP). (4) WD Memo 
W350— 197-43, 17 Jul 43, sub: Revised Procedures Governing the Selection and Asgmt of EM to ASTP. 
353/88 (ASTP). 

" (1) Memo of Gen Marshall for CG AGF, 1 Apr 43, sub: ASTP. (2) AGF ltr to CGs, 3 Apr 43, 
sub: ASTP. Both in 353/31 (ASTP). 



considered this was somewhat more than an even share, since the Ground Forces 
at their maximum comprised only 42 percent of the troops in the United States. 
In reality it was substantially more than an even share, since men with the 
required AGCT score of 115 were proportionately less numerous in the Ground 
Forces than in the Air or Service Forces. 

Although the operation of preferential assignment policies had concentrated 
a large number of ASTP eligibles in the Army Air Forces, the latter supplied 
proportionately fewer men to the ASTP than did either the Ground or Service 
Forces during this initial period. (See Table No. 4.) 

That men already trained and performing their jobs should be removed 
from troop units for a "specialized training" of rather distant military value was 
unavoidable under a principle that all enlisted men of a certain age and degree of 


Provision of Students to the Army Specialized Training Program, 
First Three Training Cycles, May-July 1943 


Army Ground 

Army Air 

Army Service 










Training Cycles: 
10 May 1943 
14 June 1943 
12 July 1943 



















Total Enlisted 

Strength in 

United States, 

31 July 1943... 









Source: Memo for Director, ASTP, 21 Jul 43, sub: Number of Men in ASTP Institutions 
Supplied by Each of the Three Forces. Copy in AG Records, Hq AGF, 353/91 (ASTP). 

* STARS (Specialized Training and Reassignment Units) were units intermediate 
between troop units and the ASTP units in the colleges, set up for the processing 
and storage of ASTP candidates. 



intelligence had a right to be considered for college. But the result of these 
removals was deplored as wasteful by officers of the Ground Forces. Although the 
number of men removed from units was relatively not large, those removed 
tended to be men who occupied key positions; the loss was especially heavy in key 
units. Units with enlisted men of high intelligence, such as headquarters com- 
panies, engineer topographical companies, and radio intelligence signal com- 
panies, suffered most. One company of the latter type had 81 out of 250 men 
selected for the ASTP. On the other hand, units with few men of the required 
intelligence could least afford to lose even one. The Army Ground Forces finally 
obtained a limitation on the number of men who might be selected from a given 
unit. 58 

After July 1943, ASTP trainees came in increasing numbers from eligible 
men newly inducted into the Army. These were of three kinds: (1) inductees 
with an AGCT score of 115 or over; (2) enlisted reservists, or certain college 
students inducted into the Army but kept temporarily in a civilian status; and 
(3) A-12'.s, or certain high-school students who by preinduction tests had 
established their eligibility for the ASTP. 59 

Members of the first group were assigned on induction, as were inductees 
generally, to replacement training centers and to troop units, on the principle 
that they would later have the opportunity to go to college through the screening 
process to which the whole Army was subject. Their subsequent selection for 
ASTP meant that replacement centers trained men who did not become replace- 
ments and that units trained men whom they could not keep. Since every 
inductee with an AGCT of 115 might go to college sooner or later, it was wasteful 
to train them except in segregated groups. Army Ground Forces proposed on 20 
August 1943 that all men eligible for ASTP should be screened at reception 
centers and given basic training in special battalions, and that all ASTP quotas 
in the future should be filled from such special battalions only. The Army 
Specialized Training Division agreed, with amendments to assure that eligible 
individuals still in troop units should not lose the right to receive specialized 
training. In the autumn of 1943 progress was made toward concentrating the 
selection of ASTP candidates in reception centers. The flow of such candidates 
into units was thereby checked and the integrity of tactical units and replace- 

58 AGF memo for G-I WD, 6 Aug 43, sub: Restriction of AST Selection from AGF Units. 353/89 

"AGF M/S, G-I to G-3 and CofS, 26 Jul 43, sub: Disposition of ASTP Eligibles upon Induction. 
353/96 (ASTP). 



ment training centers better preserved. The deliberate withholding of high- 
intelligence inductees from normal units was a price, however, which Army 
Ground Forces would have preferred not to pay. 60 

Members of the second and third groups, enlisted reservists and A-12's, were 
already earmarked for the ASTP when they entered upon active duty. They had 
to have basic training before proceeding to ASTP units in the colleges. The War 
Department ordered that their basic training be given by Army Ground Forces. 
Army Ground Forces drew up a modified Infantry Mobilization Training 
Program and arranged to segregate the candidates in special branch immaterial 
training battalions. In this way the waste of training them in regular units would 
be avoided. The War Department estimated that the enlisted reservists and 
A-12's earmarked for the ASTP would number 50,000, of whom 25,000 would 
begin basic training in June and 25,000 in July 1943. The Army Ground Forces 
provided facilities for 20,000 at Fort Benning and Camp Hood, available at this 
time because of the reduction in officer candidate quotas. Facilities for the 
remaining 30,000 were created at replacement training centers by stopping the 
production of 30,000 normal replacements. 61 

The 50,000 expected trainees were slow in appearing. Only 17,152 had been 
received by 15 August. Beds, equipment, training aids, enlisted cadres, and officer 
instructors for 32,848 men stood ready but idle. Of the total shortage of 32,848, the 
shortage of ASTP trainees expected in replacement training centers was 21,799. 
Twenty-three battalions of replacements could have been in training with the 
facilities reserved for the ASTP. 62 

With the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 a heavy demand for replacements 
set in. With Selective Service falling behind in the delivery of its quotas and with 
RTC quotas incorrectly adjusted to the actual rate of ground casualties, the 
replacement training centers could not meet the demand. Since the War Depart- 
ment now estimated that the remainder of the 50,000 ASTP trainees would 
become available in decreasing increments through January 1944, Army Ground 
Forces concentrated all ASTP basic training at Fort Benning and Camp Hood 
(later at Fort Benning only), in order to liberate the ASTP facilities at replace- 
ment training centers for ordinary replacement training. 63 But time had been 

*° See papers in 353/96 (ASTP). 

" AGF ltr to R&SC, 19 May 43, sub: ASTP. 353/40 (ASTP). 

"R&SC ltr to AGF, 17 Aug 43, sub: Non-Receipt o£ ASTP Candidates. 353/97 (ASTP). 
"AGF ltr to R&SC, 27 Aug 43, sub: ASTP. 353/40 (ASTP). 



lost in the face of a replacement crisis that rapidly grew acute. The Army Ground 
Forces was obliged to take replacements from divisions and other units in train- 
ing to meet the heavy current demand. Shortages reappeared, training was inter- 
rupted, and readiness of units for combat was delayed. The number of infantry- 
men taken from divisions for replacement purposes, about 26,000 by January 
1944, was comparable to the number of replacements who might have begun 
training in the summer of 1943 if replacement training facilities had not been 
reserved for ASTP trainees who failed to appear. The ASTP thus happened to 
contribute to the quantitative crisis which prevailed in the Infantry at the end 
of 1943. This crisis was soon to overwhelm the ASTP. 

Men began to return from the ASTP to troop units, after a term on the 
campus, in the late summer of 1943. Frequently they could not be so assigned as 
to use their specialized training. Nor could they be allowed to qualify for com- 
missions; with the reduction of the mobilization program in June the need for 
additional officers in the ground arms almost disappeared, and the scanty quotas 
of AGF officer candidate schools were filled with college men of another type, the 
ROTC students whom the Army was legally obliged to allow to try for 

Thus, toward the end of 1943 the Army Specialized Training Division faced 
the critical problems of the morale of its trainees and of its usefulness to the Army. 
It proposed in October 1943 that new military occupational specialties be author- 
ized by the War Department, that corresponding SSN's be listed in unit Tables 
of Organization, that the arms and services requisition men by these numbers, 
and that ASTP graduates be assigned to fill these requisitions with ratings as 
enlisted technicians in grades to be determined by the War Department. 64 This 
was an effort to create jobs worthy of the effort expended by men in college. It 
was an attempt to fit demand to production. The consuming agencies, such as 
Army Ground Forces, were to use men designated as specialists, not because they 
sensed a need, but because such men were becoming available. 

Army Ground Forces nonconcurred in the proposal. Reasons given were that 
it would force commanders to ignore need, experience, and demonstrated leader- 
ship in making assignments; and that ASTP graduates, irrespective of their 
educational advantages, should demonstrate their ability in the unit to which 
they were assigned before receiving a promotion. 80 In January 1944 Headquarters, 

"Draft memo of ASTD for G-i WD, undated, sub: Asgrnt of ASTP Graduates. 353/"8 (ASTP). 
65 AGF memo for ASTD, 5 Oct 43, sub as in n. 64. 353/118 (ASTP). 



Army Ground Forces, went as far as it thought possible to meet the proposal by 
issuing an assignment guide to the field, listing the SSN's in which men with 
"specialized training" might suitably serve, and urging special care in the assign- 
ment of graduates of the advanced phase of the program. But the guide was not 
made mandatory, commanders were left free to use their own judgment, and it 
was insisted that the development of leaders, not the placement of specialists,, 
must be the chief aim in employing men sent to college by the Army. 66 

The Army Specialized Training Program, operating on a scale of 150,000 
trainees, became especially vulnerable when personnel shortages threatened to 
impede military operations in late 1943. The ASTP served no need recognized as 
immediate by most elements in the Army. Once the need for more and better 
combat troops became critical it was one of the easiest items in the Troop Basis to 
sacrifice. On 5 November 1943 G-3 of the War Department proposed a reduction 
of the ASTP to 30,000 trainees, largely in medical and related subjects; four- 
fifths of the men in the ASTP would return to active service. 67 Army Ground 
Forces dispatched its concurrence to the War Department on the same day.* 8 
The Troop Basis published on 15 January 1944, reflecting a compromise between 
various points of view, called for a gradual reduction of the ASTP to 62,190 by the 
end of 1944. 

A month later this figure was more than halved. Both the replacement crisis 
and the alarm regarding the condition to which the ground arms, particularly 
the Infantry, had declined influenced the outcome. The efficiency of divisions in 
training was being gravely impaired by the wholesale transfer of their infantry 
privates to the replacement stream. Many of these same divisions were scheduled 
for early movement to take part in the impending invasion of western Europe. 
Men who had already received basic training were needed to refill their ranks. 
Meanwhile the War Department had come to the conclusion that the quality of 
enlisted personnel in the Infantry must be raised. General Marshall on 10 Febru- 
ary 1944 informed the Secretary of War that 134,000 men already basically 
trained were required for the coming operation in France and that "the outstand- 
ing deficiency currently noted in our divisions is the number of noncommissioned 
officers who are below satisfactory standards of intelligence and qualities of 

" (1) Cir 255, WD, 16 Oct 43. (2) AGF ltr to CGs, 27 Jan 44, sub: Asgmt Guide for ASTP Graduates. 
220.3/101 (ASTP). 

" WD G-3 memo (C) for AGF, 5 Nov 43, sub: ASTP. 353/2 (ASTP) (C). 

™ AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 5 Nov 43, sub: ASTP. 353/2 (ASTP) (C). 



leadership." He recommended withdrawing all but 30,000 trainees from the 
Army Specialized Training Program. The alternatives which he presented were 
to cut the ASTP or to disband 10 divisions, 3 tank battalions, and 26 antiaircraft 
battalions. 69 

The ASTP was immediately cut. 70 A large number of its trainees, almost 
overnight, became infantry privates. They could not be used immediately to 
meet the need for more intelligent noncommissioned officers because of their 
lack of military training and experience, and because most units, with their 
privates withdrawn as overseas replacements, had at least a full complement, and 
sometimes a surplus, of noncommissioned officers. It was desired and expected 
that ASTP trainees would soon show their superiority over the older noncom- 
missioned officers, win ratings, and become leaders of small units. 

For its trainees, the Army Specialized Training Program was a series of 
disillusionments. Some, had they not been sent to college, would undoubtedly 
have gone to officer candidate schools, to the advantage both of themselves and of 
the Army Ground Forces, though it is true that recruiting for ASTP came at a 
time when OCS quotas were declining. Among civilian educators participating 
in the ASTP the abrupt termination of their efforts, though accepted as a military 
necessity, was difficult to understand. It seemed arbitrary, after repeated declara- 
tions by the War Department of the importance of specialized training, suddenly 
to snatch away the young men undergoing such training, a select group number- 
ing only 2 percent of the Army, for conversion into infantry privates. 71 

The fact was that a crisis had been developing for two years in the ground 
arms. Quantitatively, the provision for combat troops in the Troop Basis, espe- 
cially for infantrymen, left no margin of safety. Qualitatively, the ground combat 
arms had been persistently denied a proportionate share of high-intelligence 
personnel. The extension of ground combat in the last part of 1943 made the 
consequences fully apparent. They could not be ignored on the eve of the invasion 
of France. Conversion of manpower from the Air and Service Forces to the 
Ground Forces, though contemplated at this time, was difficult to effect. The 
sacrifice of the ASTP was one means, among others, of meeting the critical need 
for a speedy rehabilitation of the ground arms. 

" Memo (S) of Gen Marshall for the SW, 10 Feb 44, sub: Serv Pers Shortages. 353/100 (ASTP) (S). 

"WD D/F ACofS G-i to CG ASF, 16 Feb 44, sub: Reduction of ASTP. WDGAP 353 (ASTP). The 
reduction to 30,000 was to be completed by 1 April 1944. 

"See for example the article entided "014" by Andrew J. Green in the American Association of 
University Professors Bulletin, XXX (1944), pp. 217-21. 

4 o 


Limited'Service Men in the Army Ground Forces 

Classification of enlisted men on physical grounds (including psychiatric) 
was so broad during the whole period of expansion of the Army that it might 
almost be said that there was no classification at all. A small minority, for a time, 
were classified as fit only for "limited service." Much thought was expended on 
the types of jobs to which limited-service men might be assigned. Another 
minority, including aviation cadets and parachute infantry, had to meet excep- 
tional physical standards. But the overwhelming majority of soldiers, known as 
"general-service" men, were considered to be interchangeable so far as physique 
was concerned ; assignment of these men depended on occupational specialty or 
intelligence rating. 

It was not until August 1942 that the Army began to induct limited-service 
men in significant numbers. 72 As a category in classification, limited service was 
abolished a year later. Limited-service men, designated as such, were never a 
serious problem to the Army Ground Forces, though there was an apprehension 
that they might become so. The War Department ordered in August 1942 that 
permanent installations of the Air Forces and Ground Forces employ limited- 
service personnel to the maximum. The permanent installations of the Ground 
Forces (school troops and replacement training personnel were subject to rota- 
tion and hence not permanent) included the headquarters of Army Ground 
Forces and its subordinate nontactical commands and centers. These absorbed 
13,000 limited-service men by the middle of 1943. 

In September 1942, when the Army Ground Forces were 330,000 men short, 
the War Department directed that field units of the Ground Forces absorb a 
certain percentage of limited-service men. This policy was soon reversed. From 
October 1942 to July 1943, field-force commanders were authorized to arrange 
the transfer of limited-service men from tactical units to the service commands. 
General-service men were transferred into the Ground Forces from both service 
commands and defense commands. On the whole, so long as the distinction 
between general and limited service was in effect, Ground Forces tactical units, 
of both combat and service types, were composed of general-service men. 73 

™ (1) WD ltr AG 220.31 (7-6-42) EC to CG AGF, n Jul 42, sub: Asgmt of Ltd Serv Pers. 327.3/35 
(LS). (2) Par 20, WD Classification Memo 11, 1 Aug 42. (3) AGF ltr (S) to CGs, 30 Jul 42, sub: Ltd 
Serv Pers. 319.1/5 (RTC) (S). (4) AGF M/S(S), DCofS to G-i, 16 Aug 42. 327.3 (LS)(S). 

™ (1) Memo of Col Tate for DCofS AGF, 7 Sep 42, sub: Rpt on Meeting Held under Supervision of 
G— 3 WD on Pers Matters. 327.3/42 (LS). (2) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 18 Sep 42, sub: Ltd Serv Pers for 
AGF Units. 327.3/42 (LS). (3) Cir 327, WD, 27 Sep 42. (4) WD Gen Council Min (S), 9 Oct 42. (5) 



The main concern of Army Ground Forces was to assure the maintenance 
of this policy. As induction of limited-service men continued, plans were made to 
spread them as widely as possible. In February 1943 the War Department, on the 
basis of a study prepared by The Adjutant General, proposed to the Army 
Ground Forces that, in the distribution of limited-service men to be inducted in 
the future, 65 percent be assigned to the Service Forces, 20 percent to the Air 
Forces, and 15 percent to the Ground Forces. 74 The Adjutant General based the 
figures of 65 percent for the Service Forces and of 15 percent for the Ground 
Forces on detailed investigation of the physical requirements of individual 
enlisted men's jobs, using for AGF jobs a study made by the AGF headquarters 
staff. 78 No similar study of individual jobs in the Air Forces was made or used by 
The Adjutant General. The figure of 20 percent for the Air Forces was a flat 
percentage believed to be acceptable. 

It was thought at AGF headquarters that 15 percent would be a fair propor- 
tion if it were really necessary to assign limited-service men to the Ground 
Forces. No such necessity was seen. All troops in the Army Ground Forces, 
including AGF service units, were intended (with insignificant exceptions) for 
employment in the combat zone. An unknown portion of the Army Air Forces 
(later established as about one-third) was intended to remain permanently in the 
United States. Most Air Forces personnel overseas would remain at some distance 
from the enemy. It therefore seemed unreasonable that the Air and Ground 
Forces should receive nearly the same proportion (20 and 15 percent respectively) 
of incoming limited-service men. 

General McNair took the position that the physical hardihood of a soldier 
should be greater in direct ratio to his proximity to combat. Proximity to combat 
depended, not on type of job, but on type of unit. A cook or clerk, if in an infantry 
unit, was likely to have to fight and would certainly experience irregular condi- 
tions of living. On this point General McNair wrote to the War Department on 
3 March 1943 : 76 

To illustrate the foregoing. A cook in an infantry rifle company should not have poor 
eyes, flat feet or bad hearing, because he must be able to fire his weapons, be on his feet for 

Papers in 327.3/67 and /73 (LS). (6) AGF ltr to CGs, 20 May 43, sub: Clearing Fid Force Units of Ltd 
Serv Pers. 327.3/188 (LS). (7) AGF M/S, G-3 to CofS, 31 Jul 43, sub: Disposition of Ltd Serv Pers in 
Grd Force Units. 327.3/ 193 (LS). 

™ WD memo (S) WDGAP 320.22 for CG AGF, 8 Feb 43, sub: Almt of Ltd Serv EM from Recp Cen*. 
327.3/8 (LS) (S). " For the AGF study see 327.3/10 (LS) (C). 

18 AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 3 Mar 43, sub: Almt of Ltd Serv Men from Recp Cens. 327.3/8 (LS) (S). 


long hours, and hear and understand whispered directions in the presence of the enemy. 
These requirements are not essential in a rear area installation. Perhaps a better illustration 
might be the comparison drawn between the physical demands made upon an automotive 
mechanic in an armored unit and one at an Air Corps field 100 or more miles in rear of the 
front lines. 

It is desired to point out that Air Force combat units are peculiar in the respect that 
generally only a certain proportion of a combat unit can be considered as actually engaging in 
close combat. Dependent upon conditions, ground crews and administrative personnel of 
front line combat air units may be from 100 to 1,000 miles from the enemy. Such personnel 
can be more or less assured of regular meal hours, living conditions and medical attention. 

It is further desired to point out that the Army Air Forces has, in effect, its own services 
of supply housekeeping installations of a permanent nature in the United States that can 
possibly absorb a large part, if not all, of the proposed 20% allotted to the Air Force. The 
Army Ground Forces cannot so place its 15% of limited service personnel. 

General McNair recommended that the War Department make an impartial 
survey of the three major commands to determine, by study of the missions of 
units, the number of men in each command who would probably engage in 
close combat or be drawn into the area of close combat, and that distribution of 
general-service and limited-service men follow the findings of this survey. 

No such survey was made. On the other hand, no limited-service men were, 
in principle, assigned to tactical units of the Ground Forces. Nor were they 
assigned except in restricted numbers to the permanent domestic establishments 
of the Air Forces. The solution adopted by the War Department was to cut down 
the intake of limited-service men in the spring of 1943. 77 The reduction of the 
Troop Basis on 1 July 1943, reducing the demands upon Selective Service, made 
it less necessary for the Army to accept physically inferior personnel. AGF officers 
had previously expressed the opinion that curtailment of the Troop Basis would 
be preferable to placing limited-service men, even those with noncombat jobs, in 
combat units. 78 

Effective 1 August 1943 the War Department introduced a new system of 
physical classification, outlined in Circular 161 and in successive circulars and 
directives. Limited service as a category in the classification of enlisted men was 
abolished. In practice each of the three major commands was to find a place for 
its physically inferior personnel. Reasons given for the change included the 

"WD Manpower Bd, Information Bui 8, 24 Apr 43, sub: WD Manpower Policies. 320.2/6013. 

"See memo (S) of Lt Col J. H. Featherston for G-i AGF, 19 Nov 42, sub: WD Conf 18 Nov, Ref Use 
of Ltd Serv Pers by AGF Units, Tab E of the study in 327.3/10 (LS) (S); and item 3 in M/S, G-3 to G-i, 
1 1 Nov 42, same file. 



belief that to be labeled "limited service" lowered the morale of men so classified, 
that some men so classified should be dropped from the Army, and that others 
should be used for more arduous duties than were permissible as long as they 
were classified as limited service. Men who could not be utilized by the Army 
because of physical or mental defects were to be discharged. For the remainder it 
was desired that commanders, instead of using a simple distinction between 
general and limited service, make the physical condition of enlisted men a matter 
of more exact and continuing appraisal and utilize the maximum capabilities of 
their personnel according to "physical qualifications, prior training, skills, intel- 
ligence and aptitude." Among so many criteria, physical condition continued to 
be in practice a secondary consideration in assignment. In practice three kinds of 
physical condition were recognized. Men below physical standards of induction, 
who therefore might be subject to discharge on physical grounds, could be 
retained in the Army at the desire of their commanders if their skill and training 
made them useful to the service in jobs which they were physically capable of 
performing. Men above minimum standards for induction still fell into two 
classes resembling general and limited service. The War Department declared 
that it would "continue to accept, in controlled numbers, enlisted men who do 
not meet current physical standards for general military service." These were the 
old limited-service men under a new name, or rather under no name, a fact which 
made their administrative processing more difficult and probably less accurate. 
Such men were not to be assigned upon induction to divisions, combat support 
units, or replacement training centers of the Army Ground Forces. They might 
be assigned upon induction to service units in the Ground Forces, to the Service 
Forces, and to the Air Forces in numbers up to 2,0 percent of future quotas for the 
Air Forces and arms and services with the Air Forces. Transfer of limited-service 
men among the three major commands, without concurrence of the receiving 
command, was stopped. This meant that the Army Ground Forces could no 
longer automatically ship men of low physical quality to the service commands. 
What General McNair had long resisted now took place: the Army Ground 
Forces would have no limited-service men, because there was no limited service, 
but it would have to find jobs for men of low physical quality, unless their 
physical quality was low enough to justify discharge from the Army. 79 

"For preceding two paragraphs see Cir 161, WD, 14 Jul 43, and WD Itr AG 220.01 (5 Aug 43) 
OC-E-WDGAP-M for CGs, 13 Aug 43, sub: Elimination of term "Ltd Serv" with Reference to EM. 
327.3/193 (LS). 



Physically inferior men accumulated in the Ground Forces in various ways. 
Some men deteriorated physically while in training. Some of those who were 
received from overseas, defense commands, and other sources would formerly 
have been designated as "limited service." Although men "not meeting current 
physical standards for general military service" were not supposed to be assigned 
initially to combat units and replacement centers of the Ground Forces, a con- 
siderable number were in fact so assigned in the months following Circular 161. 80 
The matter was complicated by divergence of professional judgment among 
medical officers in assessing a soldier's physical qualities, and by divergence of 
judgment among commanders in determining how a soldier, with a given 
physical condition as announced by the medical officers, should be assigned. Men 
regarded at reception centers as fit for general service might not be so regarded 
at replacement centers, in divisions, or at replacement depots. There were succes- 
sive points along the line at which the medical decision or the command decision 
might change. In general, the nearer a soldier came to combat, as in replacement- 
depots or when units were alerted, the more exacting the interpretation of physi- 
cal standards became. Hence there was a constant tendency to reclassify as unfit 
for general duty men previously considered acceptable. 

Unless of such poor quality as to warrant discharge, or unless they were over 
thirty, in which case they could still be transferred to the Army Service Forces, all 
these physically inferior enlisted men — those not meeting the standards of general 
service — after i August 1943 had to be retained in the Army Ground Forces. The 
Ground Forces obliged, in the words of the AGF G-i, "to swallow their own 
limited service men," entered reluctantly upon a program of reassignment and 
retraining of individuals. At first the attempt was made to adhere to the policy 
laid down by General McNair on 3 March, that is, the policy that assignment on 
physical grounds should depend on type of unit, not on type of job. Field com- 
manders of the Ground Forces were instructed on 21 August 1943 to transfer 
enlisted men formerly classifiable as limited service from combat units to over- 
head installations, higher headquarters, and service-type units of the Ground 
Forces, reassigning equal numbers of general-service meT from these 
organizations to combat units. 81 

".AGF 2d ind to ASF, 5 Nov 43, on ltr of CG IRTC, Cp Roberts, to CG AGF, 21 Oct 43, sub: Discharges 
inlRTC. 327.3/208 (LS). 

a (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 21 Aug 43, sub: Disposition of Ltd Serv Pers in Ground Force Units. 327.3/193 
(LS). (2) AGF ltr to CGs, 15 Oct 43, sub: Proper Asgtnt of EM below Gen Serv Standards. 327.3/205 (LS). 
(3) AGF 2d ind to Second Army, 28 Sep 43, on ltr cited in (1). 327.3/193. 



Virtually all troops in the Army Ground, including service units, 
were intended not only for overseas duty but also for duty in the combat zones. 
Before the issuance of Circular 161, limited-service men in principle were not to 
be sent overseas. Now all men were eligible for overseas duty unless specifically 
disqualified. Defects disqualifying men for overseas duty, as announced by the 
War Department in Circular 189, 21 August 1943, were stated to include hernia, 
perforated eardrum, missing teeth, and "neuro-psychiatric condition of any 
kind." The last was in practice, of course, an extremely elastic and uncertain 
category when applied to men nervously keyed up by training for combat. Com- 
manders of AGF units and replacement centers found themselves accumulating 
men who could not proceed overseas, and whom therefore it was a waste for the 
Army Ground Forces to train. 

The net result was a wave of wholesale discharges from the Army. Circular 
161 granted liberal powers to discharge men who could not be utilized "because 
of mental or physical defects." Many commanders found it easier to invoke this 
power than to carry out a complex program of reassignment and retraining, or to 
retain men of whose future qualifications for overseas service they were not 
certain. In the last months of 1943, AGF replacement training centers, although 
supposedly receiving only trainees qualified for general service, reported 10 
percent of their trainees as "died or discharged." Another 8 percent failed to 
qualify for overseas duty. 82 Under Circular 161, tactical units of the Ground 
Forces discharged about 55,000 men in the period August-November 1943. An 
average of 500 men was discharged per division. 83 This was a time of critical 
demand for manpower. Men were discharged who were of better physical 
quality than other men inducted at the same time. 84 

In November 1943 the War Department rescinded Circular 161 and replaced 
it with Circular 293: Enlisted Men — Utilization of Manpower Based on Physical 
Capacity. It remained the basic expression of policy on the subject, to be restated 
in Circular 164, 26 April 1944. 

Circular 293 prohibited the discharge from the Army of men able to do any 

"Tab F (S) "Losses at RTC's," AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 21 Dec 43, sub: Utilization of Available 
Manpower Based on Physical Capacity. 327.3/8 (S). 

88 Tables in "Bulky Package" 327.3/209 (LS), compiled in compliance with AGF Itr, 12 Jan 44, sub: 
Utilization of Available Manpower. 320.2/7002. 

84 (1) AGF memo (C) forG-i WD, 21 Sep 43, sub: Allocation of Recp Cen Pers to AGF. 327.3/13 (C). 
(2) Tab B (S) "Summary of Conferences on Med Standards and Pers Placement," WD Gen Council Min (S), 
13 Dec 43. 

4 6 


useful work. It reaffirmed the policy that each of the three major commands must 
absorb its own "physically handicapped enlisted men," and that commanders of 
all echelons should be continuously responsible for proper classification, assign- 
ment, and reassignment. It tightened the list of specific disqualifications for 
overseas service. For example, men with "mild psycho-neuroses, transient in 
character" (what lay officers of Army Ground Forces considered normal nervous 
apprehension) could now proceed overseas in a combat capacity, as could also 
men who, despite missing teeth, had been able to earn a living in civil life. Men 
going overseas as trained members of organized units were not held to as high a 
physical standard as those going over as individual replacements. In general, any 
enlisted man retained in the Army, if not suffering from specified defects dis- 
qualifying him for overseas service, could be used for any duty of which his unit 
commander, acting with medical advice, believed him physically capable. 

Discharges from the Army fell off sharply after publication of Circular 293. 
The number of physically inferior men requiring assignment correspondingly 
increased. It became necessary for General McNair to retreat from his preferred 
policy as stated on 3 March 1943, and to countenance the assignment of physically 
inferior personnel to combat units. In e^ich individual case the lowest possible 
commander was to find an appropriate assignment. In a directive to. the field 
dated 7 December 1943, implementing War Department Circular No. 293 and 
personally rewritten by General McNair, AGF commanders were ordered to 
assign men falling below general-service standards in the following priority: (1) 
to appropriate positions (such as cooks or clerks) within combat units; (2) to 
service-type units in divisions ; (3) to service-type units under armies, corps, and 
special commands; and (4) to permanent overhead installations of Army 
Ground Forces. 85 

Circular 293, while tending to swell the number of physically inferior men 
in the Ground Forces, nevertheless affirmed, more explicitly than previous War 
Department instructions on the subject, the importance of physical condition as 
a basis of assignment. Circular 161, abolishing limited service, had recognized 
that a mere twofold classification, with all general-service men regarded as 
physically alike, was not enough. Circular 293 announced that enlisted men 
should "be assigned to the most active type of duty appropriate to their physical 
qualifications." The implication was that general-service men were not inter- 
changeable ; the strongest should be used as infantry riflemen, medical-aid men, 

" AGF ltr to CGs, 7 Dec 43, sub: Utilization of Manpower Based on Physical Capacity. 327.3/ 209 (LS). 



etc., and those of less exceptional physique as artillery gunners, airplane mech- 
anics, ordnance technicians, etc. The implication was weakened by the addition, 
in Circular 293, of a modifying clause after the word "qualifications": "with due 
consideration to their civilian training and experience, education, intelligence, 
aptitude, leadership ability and acquired military occupational specialties." 

With this experience freshly in mind General McNair came to the conclu- 
sion, stated in a memorandum of 21 December 1943, that, with "due considera- 
tion" to civilian training, the best solution for the problem of allocating suitable 
personnel to the Ground Forces would be to make physical qualities the primary 
basis of assignment. From this position, set forth in a comprehensive summary 
of the problem of quality in the Ground Forces, he was ready to proceed in 1944 
with the development of the Physical Profile system. 

III. Efforts to Improve the Quality 
of Ground Combat Troops 

During the second half of 1943, as mobilization reached its final stages, the 
signs that all was not well with the personnel situation in the ground arms 
became unmistakable. One sign was provided in a survey made available in 
August 1943 by the Special Services Division, Army Service Forces. Asked what 
branch of the Army they would prefer to be in, if free to choose, only 11 percent 
of enlisted men in the Infantry, in contrast to 76 percent of enlisted men in the 
Air Corps, named their own branch. AH ground combat arms fell below all the 
services in popularity, and all the services fell below the Air Corps. (See Table 
I No. 5-[ ) Unpopularity of the ground arms was perhaps due largely to relative 
danger. More than 80 percent of the enlisted men becoming casualties in the 
North African Theater of Operations at this time were in the ground arms, not 
counting medical aid men and combat engineers. More than 70 percent were in 
the Infantry alone. Unpopularity may be ascribed in part to the low pay and the 
generally lower intelligence rating of combat soldiers. High pay and high average 
intelligence in a branch gave members the sense, valuable for morale, of being 
a selected group. 

In addition, surveys by the Special Services Division indicated that the better 
educated a man was the more willing he was to serve as a soldier. This may only 
reflect the fact that the more desirable positions were filled by educated rather 
than by uneducated men; it does not prove that the educated were more willing 
than the uneducated to serve as front-line fighters. Finally, the popularity of 
branches varied more or less directly with the satisfaction of enlisted men with 
their individual job assignments. Infantrymen disliked their jobs far more than 
did men of other branches. Enlisted men of the technical services and of the Air 
Corps were more satisfied. This was probably for a variety of reasons : that their 
jobs did not generally involve killing, hand-to-hand combat, or maximum 
personal discomfort ; that their jobs were in many cases counterparts of customary 
civilian occupations; and that their jobs offered, or were believed to offer, 
vocational training of potential value after the war. 

Under the new policies on physically limited men announced in Circular 
161, in effect after 1 August 1943, physically inferior (formerly limited-service) 



Relative Popularity of Arms and Services Among Enlisted Men in 1943 

A rrn or 

Own Branch 



Class 1 and 11 
Men as Percent 

fkf ' 1 fkta 1 AcciirnPn 

in 1943 

Base Pay 


nf ^n^n 3 if i 

in NATO" 




„ (4) 


Air Corps 






Signal Corps 


















Military Police 


















Field Artillery 
























Source: Columns 1 and 2: "What the Soldier Thinks," August 1943, Special Services Division, 
Army Service Forces. (C) 

Column 3: Percentages compiled in Historical Division, WDSS, based on statistics 
of Classification and Replacement Branch, AGO, report on Forms XOC-62, 63, 64. 
Column 4: AGF memo for G-l, WD, 25 October 1943, sub: Raising of Average 
Annual Pay of Infantry, Tab B. 000.7 /l (Inf Prog) (C). 

Column 5: AGF staff study, "Memo for the Chief of Staff, AGF," 8 December 1943, 
Table VIII (C). 327.3/7 (S). 

* To 30 September 1943. NATO was selected as the only theater in which extensive 
operations of all arms were conducted prior to the end of 1943. Percentages do not 
add to 100 because all arms and services are not included. 

* Does not include flying pay. 

c Included in Infantry, Field Artillery, etc. Not separable. 

men began to accumulate in combat units. Twelve thousand combat soldiers at 
the AGF overseas replacement depot at Fort Meade were examined in November 
1943. Since they were general-service men from units and replacement training 
centers in all parts of the country, they probably offered a cross section of per- 
sonnel in the ground arms. They were inferior in height, weight, AGCT grade, 
and education to the average for the Army. 1 In AGCT grades, the average of all 
men inducted into the Army was considerably better in the second half of 1943 

1 (1) AGF memo, Repl Dep No. I for CG AGF, 9 Nov 43, sub: Characteristics of Enl Repl by Arm. 
000.7/18 (Inf Prog), (2) Tab D, AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 21 Dec 43, sub: Utilization of Available 
Manpower Based on Physical Capacity. 327.3/8 (S). 



than in the first half. More than 38 percent of the men inducted were in Classes I 
and II, compared with an average for the year of 35 percent. Both the Service 
Forces and the Air Forces received a larger proportion of these high-quality men 
than during the first half of 1943 (41 percent and 49.5 percent respectively). 
Since the proportion of Classes I and II men received by the Ground Forces 
remained virtually unchanged (30 percent), the relative proportion of high- 
quality manpower assigned to the Ground Forces declined considerably in the 
second half of 1943. 2 

After the middle of 1943, United States forces overseas were increasingly 
committed to combat. An AGF observer, with the Fifth Army in Italy reported : 
"Squad leaders and patrol leaders with initiative were scarce. . . . The assign- 
ment of Grade V intelligence men to infantry is murder." The surgeon of the 
XIV Corps, after the New Georgia campaign, made a study of war neurosis and 
found "tangible evidence that incompetent or questionable leadership in small 
units was an important causative factor." In units in New Georgia, where junior 
and noncommissioned officers had broken down, panic spread among the men 
and needless sacrifice of manpower resulted. When stronger leaders were trans- 
ferred to infected units, cases of war neurosis declined. Breakdown of privates 
from unit to unit was in direct proportion to breakdown among junior com- 
manders, enlisted and commissioned. It was found "that many unit leaders were 
not aware of their responsibilities as leaders." War neurosis was not frequent "in 
field artillery, engineer, quartermaster, signal and reconnaissance units of the 
divisions; Navy boat pool crews, air warning units, Marine defense battalions; 
and service units, as a whole." It occurred chiefly in the Infantry. Another 
medical officer reported: "I saw one whole platoon of an infantry company go 
out because the platoon sergeant went 'wacky.' It is very important to select 
strong leaders, men with strong minds, especially during training periods in the 
States. It cannot be over-emphasized that the non-commissioned officer is a key 
man of vital importance, because if he fails, the unit he is in charge of goes down 
with him." 3 

General McNair wished to show the shortage of combat leadership statis- 
tically. He adopted three premises: that the need for strong leadership was in 
direct relationship to exposure to danger; that danger was measurable by casualty 

"Percentages compiled in Historical Division, WDSS, based on statistics of Classification and Replace- 
ment Branch, AGO, reports on Forms XOC-62, 63, 64. 

* (1) Incl to unused draft of AGF memo for WD in 327.3/100 (S). (2) Sec II, OPD Information Bui 
(S) (OPDIB), 18 Mar 44. 



rates; and that strong leaders would in almost all cases be men in the upper 
AGCT classes. He ordered an actual count by AGCT grade of men in all divi- 
sions and in nondivisional units in the Army Ground Forces as of 1 November 
1943, totaling over 1,000,000 enlisted men. 4 Distribution of recent inductees, by 
AGCT score, among the three major forces, was likewise reviewed. AGF staff 
officers computed indices showing the comparative severity of battle casualties by 
branch, that is, the incidence of battle casualties by arm or service, in proportion 
to the strength of each arm or service in the theaters. Attention was focused on 
the North African Theater of Operations, in which sizable forces of all arms had 
been in combat for a considerable time. Findings were as follows : 

Battle Class I and II Men Among 

Casualty Assignees from Reception Centers^ 

Ratio* (Percent) 

(Air Corps=1.0) Class I Class U 

AGF Combat Units c z.6 5.2 26.5 

Air Corps 1.0 9.3 38.0 

Service Personnel (Exc. AAF) 0.2 10.7 32.5 

Represents the relationship among the units shown of the incidence of battle casualties in 
proportion to strength of each arm in service in NATO up to 30 October 1943. 

b Based on assignments during the period May-September 1943. The survey of 1,000,000 
men in AGF on 1 November 1943 indicated that 3.1 percent of the total were AGCT 
Class I men and 23.5 percent were Class II. 

c Ratio for infantry alone was 4.0. 

It appeared that leaders were scarcest where the fighting was thickest. General 
McNair submitted these conclusions to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, on 17 
December 1943. He wrote briefly: 5 

From time to time in the past, this headquarters has pointed out that certain procedures 
in distributing manpower discriminate against the ground forces. The inclosed charts show 
the cumulative effect of such measures. 

While the situation is viewed as unfortunate, it is realized that it is now too late for 
effective remedial action. This study is submitted in order to make clear the composition of 
our war Army in its practically complete form. 

Proposals for the Rehabilitation of the Ground Arms 

In the summer of 1943, officers of both the G-i and the G-3 sections of the 
AGF headquarters staff subjected the whole question of quality of personnel in 
the ground arms to a searching analysis. They were now impressed with the 

4 (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 13 Sep 43, sub: Age and Distribution in Divs and Nondiv Units. 201.6/483. 
(2) For results, see tables in incl to 327.3/7 (S). 

'Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 17 Dec 43, sub: Distribution of Manpower. 327.3/7 (S). 


adverse effect on the combat arms of the classification system itself, noting that 
the diversion of men with established civilian occupations from the combat arms 
drained away also the best minds, best physiques, and best leaders. It was observed 
that, from the peacetime necessity of attracting volunteers, the Army paid more 
money for the more skilled positions, not the more dangerous. "Such procedure," 
remarked G-i, Army Ground Forces, "should be unnecessary under a universal 
Selective Service System. In wartime, the money should go to the more dangerous 
positions." AGF headquarters itself, observed G-i on 17 July, had in the past 
sanctioned these practices; and AGF field commanders had tended to assign 
their best men, and give the highest ratings, to administrative and technical 
positions at the expense of the combat elements within their own units. G-i 
recommended a word of admonition to commanders, a restudy of grades and 
ratings, a program of publicity for the ground arms (such as General Lear had 
suggested a year before), and reassignment of high-caliber enlisted men within 
the Ground Forces from service to combat units. 6 

On the last point General McNair wished to proceed cautiously. He did not 
desire to upset by wholesale transfers units which at this late date were already 
organized and trained. A moderate directive was issued on 6 August, warning 
commanders against excessive emphasis on preinduction skills and ordering the 
transfer, within limits, of men physically and mentally capable of aggressive 
leadership from service to combat units. 7 For various reasons it proved impossible 
to avoid upsetting organized units in the following months. Units were being 
remodeled under new Tables of Organization, stripped for replacements, 
obliged to reshuffle their limited-service personnel, and tapped for ASTP 
candidates and aviation cadets. In such a turmoil of reassignment it was difficult 
to guide men into combat units on the basis of leadership qualities, especially 
since leadership qualities were not definitely indicated in classification records. 

The problem of rehabilitating the ground arms could not be solved by the 
Army Ground Forces alone. It was desirable that front-line fighting soldiers be 
young, though not immature, with a minimum of dependents and family respon- 
sibilities, and physically and emotionally sturdy enough to have a maximum 
chance of survival. The attempt to concentrate such men in combat positions 
after the middle of 1943 was subject to severe limitations: The manpower con- 
trolled by the War Department was not a single internally fluid pool. It was to a 

* AGFM/S (R), G-i toCofS, 17 Jul 43, sub: Asgmt and Utilization of EM. 220.3/50 (R). 
7 AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 6 Aug 43, sub: Utilization of EM. 220.3/50 (R). 



large extent frozen in each of the three major forces. To this administrative 
circumstance was added the fact that mobilization was already accomplished. 
Men were trained and functioning in their respective major forces — Ground, Air, 
or Service. As General McNair hesitated to upset his units by a general transfer 
into combat positions of suitable men irrespective of their current assignments, 
so also the War Department hesitated to upset the three major forces by transfer 
into Army Ground Forces of men who were potentially good combat soldiers 
but actually functioning in other jobs. This was the meaning of General McNair's 
statement, in December 1943, that it was too late for effective remedy of the unfor- 
tunate condition of the ground arms. It will presently be seen that in 1944 the 
War Department nevertheless did take measures to "unfreeze" the Army and to 
cause a flow of high-quality manpower into the Ground Forces. 

Meanwhile the efforts of Army Ground Forces and the War Department 
to improve the quality of the ground arms branched into three lines : a reanalysis 
of the problem of Negro troops in relation to the general problem of quality ; a 
definite program to raise the effectiveness of the Infantry ; and a concerted drive 
to obtain modification of the Army system of classification and assignment. 

The Quality of Negro Troops 

From the beginning the problem of raising the quality of the Negro combat 
units had been of special concern to the Army Ground Forces. While the inclu- 
sion of Negro troops in the ground combat forces did not lower appreciably the 
over-all quality of the combat arms, their concentration into all-Negro units 
resulted in the production of a number of units generally characterized by a far 
greater proportion of low AGCT grades than in AGF units as a whole. This 
condition can be traced to deficiencies in the educational and environmental 
backgrounds of the bulk of Negro enlisted men. The contention of Army 
Ground Forces was not that Negro combat units could not be trained effectively 
but that units with disproportionately low AGCT grades could not be trained 
under normal methods in a normal period of time. 

Under the provisions of the Selective Service Act and a presidential directive, 
the War Department required all arms and services to absorb Negro enlisted men 
on the general basis of the proportion of Negroes in the population of the 
country. 8 This figure, the "proper proportionate number" of Negro troops, was 

8 WD Itx AG 291.21 (10-9-40) M-A-M to CGs, 16 Oct 40, sub: WD Policy in Regard to Negroes. 
3M-7 (AGF Hist). 



set at 1.0.6 percent, the percentage of Negroes registering in the draft. Since Negro 
personnel could not be shifted except to other Negro units, 9 large numbers of 
Class IV and Class V personnel, averaging from 75 to 90 percent, were concen- 
trated in Negro units. 

In the spring of 1942 the problem reached its initial crisis. Before this the 
Army, because of a shortage of training cadres, housing, and planned activations, 
had not taken its "proper proportionate number" of Negro troops. Those Negro 
combat units which were in the Army consisted of a few Regular and National 
Guard units and some new nondivisional units. 10 Selective Service had been 
urging the Army to increase its quota of Negro inductees to bring its percentage 
of Negroes up to 10.6. This would increase the number of Negroes inducted for 
the remainder of 1942 beyond the 10.6 percentage and would interfere with 
scheduled activations, both by the proportionate reduction of new white induc- 
tees planned for units already in the Troop Basis and by providing Negro 
inductees for whom no such units had been planned. If proportionate distribu- 
tion were made to all arms and services, the War Department estimated that 
one-seventh, or a total of ten divisions, would have to be Negro. 

The problem facing Ground Forces here was one of receiving larger num- 
bers of poorer-quality enlisted personnel than it had expected, all of whom would 
have to be concentrated in specific units. In an attempt to avoid this heavy concen- 
tration which, it was predicted, would produce a number of units which would 
be all but ineffective, a member of the War Department G-3 proposed in Novem- 
ber 1942 that, beginning in 1943, Negroes and whites be placed in the same units 
in a ratio of 1 to 10.6. 11 General McNair, fearing that such a move would further 
impair the general quality of combat units, proposed that large Negro combat 
units, with their heavy requirements of personnel experienced in administrative 
and technical skills, be discontinued. "If the size of Negro combat units were 

• Ibid. The letter concluded with the statement that the policy of not placing Negroes and whites in the 
flame regiments would be continued: "This policy has proven satisfactory over a long period of years and to 
make changes would produce situations destructive to morale and detrimental to the preparation for national 

"These included six infantry regiments (the 24th, 25th, 366th, 367th, 368th, and 372d), seven coast 
artillery regiments, one field artillery brigade, five field artillery regiments, two tank destroyer battalions, 
and one tank battalion. Four of the infantry regiments and several of the smaller units were tactically dis- 
posed under the defense commands. The other two infantry regiments were under Army Ground Forces, 
preparing for overseas movement. 

"Draft memo (S) of Col (later Brig Gen) E. W. Chamberlain, WDGS, for Brig Gen I. H. Edwards, 
WD G-3, undated, sub: Negro Personnel TB 43. WD G-3 "Negro File" (S). See also Gen E. W. Chamber- 
lain's manuscript "History of G—3, WD," Chap. V, "Negro Personnel." 



limited to separate battalions," he wrote, "they would be fully suitable for battle 
employment, yet the organization would permit the maximum flexibility in such 
employment." 12 Neither proposal was accepted by the War Department and the 
problem remained unsolved, though not ignored. 

To take care of additional Negro combat troops, new units were added to 
the Troop Basis. These units were primarily of combat-support types. Four Negro 
infantry divisions were provided in the 1942 Troop Basis, but only two of these 
were activated with Negro personnel. The decision to activate an armored divi- 
sion from the white elements of the 2d Cavalry Division left the Negro elements 
(the 4th Cavalry Brigade) intact to serve as a basis for expanding the Division 
into an all-Negro unit. 13 This expansion culminated in the reorganization of the 
2d Cavalry Division in February 1943. By June 1943 the growth of AGF Negro 
units had reached its peak. The enlisted strength of AGF Negro units in that 
month totaled 167,957, or 10.46 percent of AGF enlisted strength. Of these, 
99,045 were in the arms. 

With the multiplication of Negro units came an intensification of problems 
growing out of the disproportionately low AGCT grades among the men avail- 
able. The difficulties of training Negro combat troops at the accelerated pace 
required in wartime meant frequent failures in training tests, at times making 
necessary a deferment of overseas shipment dates. Adequate cadres for new units 
were becoming scarcer, and the personnel available for cadre and instructional 
purposes was being spread thinner and thinner. Loss rates for older units were 
higher than in comparable white units, and the prospect for improving their 
over-all quality was considerably lessened by the constant need of transfers. 
Newer units were no better off so far as AGCT distributions were concerned. 
The Commanding General of the Antiaircraft Artillery Command, in a letter 
to Army Ground Forces requesting permission to screen from sixteen Negro 
antiaircraft battalions enough high-scoring men to form three battalions with 
AGCT distributions relatively comparable to those of white antiaircraft 
battalions, expressed the problem thus : 14 

My investigations have convinced me that if colored antiaircraft battalions can be made 
up of men who are in the proper ratio of Army General Classification Test grades they can 

"AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 11 Nov 42, sub: Negro Personnel TB 43. 322.999/1 (Cld Trs) (S). 

"WD memo WDGCT 320.2 (4-28-42) for CG AGF, 27 May 42, sub: Armored and Motorized Divs. 
320.2/165 (S). 

"Ltr (C) AAC 320/HN-GNSCS, CG AAC to CG AGF, 12 Mar 43, sub: Colored AA Units. 321/110 
(CAC) (C). 



be trained in a reasonable time into efficient combat units. It is to be expected that such 
colored units in action would reflect credit on the American Army and prove a source of 
pride to the colored race. No such results, however, can possibly be expected of colored 
antiaircraft units with their present composition of personnel. With this composition it is 
impossible to find or to develop qualified leaders in anything like sufficient numbers. More- 
over, the great majority of the men are unable to grasp the barest fundamentals of the gun- 
nery problems involved, and to care for and properly man the complicated equipment 
inherent in antiaircraft units. There are in the sixteen colored antiaircraft battalions approxi- 
mately 10,000 men whose opportunities for mental development have been so restricted as 
to necessitate (heir classification in Army General Classification Test Grades IV and V. Of 
this number only about 3,000 could be employed to useful advantage within the sixteen 
battalions were all to be continued active. 

Since similar requests had come from other arms and new proposals to limit the 
numbers of Class V men, white and Negro, were under consideration, no action 
was taken. 15 

Discussion of proposals to improve the quality of enlisted personnel in 
Negro combat units had been under way for some time. The transfer of low- 
scoring personnel to service units was proposed several times, but it was difficult 
to screen out high-scoring personnel for specific units without leaving large 
numbers of low-scoring personnel for whom no possible noncommissioned 
leadership would be available. 16 An example of the difficulties involved in shift- 
ing Class V men in excess of 10 percent from one division only is afforded by a 
proposal in one plan which would have entailed the relief of approximately 7,000 
men. To obtain fillers in higher grades to replace them it would have been 
necessary to induct and screen 12,500 men. 17 This would still have left 12,500 men 
of Class V to be absorbed by other units. Among alternate and substitute pro- 
posals the following were included : shifting higher-level Negroes from service 
units into combat units and replacing them with white noncommissioned 
officers ; splitting Negro divisions into combat teams or separate battalions which 
might be more easily trained and utilized than the full-sized divisions; restricting 

a (1) M/S atchd to ltr cited in n. 14. (2) Subsequently, in an effort to lessen training difficulties, 
permission was granted to convert six Negro automatic weapons battalions to gun battalions on the ground 
that gun units required closer supervision and less individual action than automatic weapons units, and 
therefore had a higher absorption rate for Class IV and Class V men. See papers in 320.2/40 (TUB 43) (C). 

18 (1) Draft memo (S) of Brig Gen I. H. Edwards for CofS USA, 12 Mar 43, sub: Employment of Grade 
V Personnel in the Army. 327.2 (SS Men) (S). (2) Ltr (S) of CG AAC to CG AGF, 12 Mar 43, sub: 
Colored AA Units. 321/343 (CAC) (S). (3) WD memo WDGCT 291.21 (1-4-43) for CG AGF, 27 Apr 
43, sub: Negro Personnel. 322.999/4 (Cld Trs) (S). 

17 WD memo WDGCT 291.21 (1-14-43) for CG AGF, 5 Mar 43, sub: Negro Personnel. 322.999. 



the percentage of Negro Class V men inducted to the same percentage as that o£ 
white Class V's; discharging the majority of the men in Class V; and halting 
the commissioning of Negroes until noncommissioned grades had been filled 
with competent leaders. 18 

Most of these proposals were examined and discarded. One influential reason 
was that the War Department's plan to improve the quality of ground combat 
troops was scheduled to go into operation in the early future. 

This plan involved establishing special training units (STU's), discharging 
men found unteachable, and ordering the transfer of excess high-intelligence 
personnel to the ground combat troops. Special training units, which received 
proportionately more Negro than white selectees, were established in June 1943 
at reception centers to teach illiterates and Class V men the minimum reading 
ability and simple vocabulary needed for military training. Those found unteach- 
able were to be discharged. At the same time the War Department directed that 
the waste of high-intelligence personnel be brought to an end. "Specifically," 
read the directive, "excess of men with high intelligence in units such as aviation 
squadrons, sanitary companies, and service units of the Quartermaster Corps and 
Engineer labor units will be reassigned to units where their skills and intelligence 
can be utilized more effectively." 19 

None of these efforts affected to any appreciable extent the distribution of 
AGCT scores in Ground Forces units. Of the men released from STU's for assign- 
ment to regular training in the first six months of operation, 98.7 percent were in 
Classes IV and V. 20 Of these, white divisions received 1,400 men, all but 24 of 
them in Classes IV and V; Negro divisions received 1 man (Class IV). Of men 
assigned to the Infantry 6,305 were white, all of them except 88 in Classes IV and 
V, while 907 were Negro, all but 10 of whom were in Classes IV and V. Relatively 
few STU men — 10.3 percent in the first six months — were discharged from the 

M (i) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 4 Jan 43, sub: Negro Personnel. 322.999/4 (Cld Trs) (S). (a) 
AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 2 Feb 43, sub: Negro Personnel. 322.999/6 (S). (3) AGF memo (S), 9 Apr 
43, sub: Negro Personnel. 291.2 (S). (4) Memo (C) of Gen J. A. Green, CG AAC, for Gen McNair, 19 Mar 
43, sub: Colored AA Units. 321/110 (CAC) (C). (5) AGF ltx (S) to CG AAC, 1 Apr 43, sub: Negro AA 
Units. 321/343 (CAC)(S). 

'"WD ltx (R) AG 353 (10 Jun 43) OB-D-A, 17 Jun 43, sub: Sp Tng Units. 353/32 (R). 

"Men were assigned to regular training from STU's, July 1943 to 31 December 1943, as follows: 

Class Class Class Class Class Total 

White ... 11 (.1%) 295(1.9%) 11,837(76.7%) 3,291(21.3%) 15,434(39%) 

Negro ... 10 (.0%) 197 ( .8%) 14,256(59.2%) 9,624(40.0%) 24,087(61%) 

total 21 (.1%) 492 (1.2%) 26,093 (66.0%) 12,915 (32.7%) 39>52i (100%) 



Army as unteachable. While STU's increased the total manpower available to 
the Army, they did little to increase that portion from which leadership might 
be expected to come. 

Moreover, the units specifically directed by the War Department to give up 
their excess "high-intelligence" personnel contained no marked excess of high 
AGCT men. In addition, the majority of these units were made up of Negro 
enlisted men. 21 In most cases there was not enough "high intelligence" in these 
units, as measured by AGCT scores, to raise the level of Negro ground combat 
units. In no case could this group of units furnish enough high-level personnel 
to aif ect the Ground Forces as a whole. 

The Infantry Program 

General Marshall was seriously disturbed by the 1943 surveys of the Special 
Services Division that indicated the low state of morale in the ground arms, 
especially in the Infantry. On 4 August he requested General McNair to suggest 
remedial action. 22 General McNair answered General Marshall's request by 
submitting the proposals which had been made by the AGF G-3 Section earlier 
in the month, which he had approved with minor reservations. "My only regret," 
he observed to General Marshall, "is that we did not start something along this 
line about two years ago." 23 These proposals aimed at an increase of pay and of 
public recognition for infantrymen and at assigning men to the Infantry on a 
more selective basis than in the past. 24 

m .On 1 July 1943 the following numbers o£ types of units were within the continental limits o£ the 
United States: 

218 Negro and 32 white aviation squadrons 
13 Negro and 12 white engineer general service regiments 

3 Negro and 1 white engineer separate battalions 
87 Vz Negro and no white medical sanitary companies 

40 Negro and 2 white quartermaster service battalions 
18 Negro and 10 white quartermaster truck regiments 

4 Negro and no white quartermaster fumigation and bath battalions 
33 Negro and 13 white troop transport companies 

Source: (1) Directory of. the Army of the United States (Continental Limits of the United States), 
Army Air Forces Units, Attached Services, and Miscellaneous AiAF Installations and Activities, July 1, 1943. 
AGO Records, 461 (1 Jul 43) OB-F-M. (2) Directory of the Army of the United States (Continental Limits 
of the United States), Exclusive of Army Air Forces and Attached Services, June I, 1943. AGO Records, 461 
(ljul 43)OB-I-M. 

" Memo of Gen Marshall for Gen McNair, 4 Aug 43, sub not given. 000.7/35 (Inf Prog). 
" AGF M/S (C), CG to CofS USA, 16 Aug 43, sub: Program for Improvement of the Morale, Efficiency, 
and Effectiveness of Inf . 000.7/1 (Inf Prog) (C). 

"AGF memo (C) for CofS USA, 28 Aug 43, sub as in n. 23. 000.7/1 (Inf Prog) (C). 



Army Ground Forces desired the adoption of "fighting pay" corresponding to 
"flying pay" in the Air Forces. 25 Holding that flying pay could be justified only 
on the ground of risk (not of skill, since medical officers, for example, were paid 
no more than aviators of the same rank), General McNair offered figures to 
show that service in the Infantry was more risky than service in the Air Forces. 
Even at this date, before major ground operations were well launched, the 
casualty rate for infantrymen in the combat zone was about the same as for Air 
Forces personnel on flying-pay status in the theaters. General McNair recom- 
mended that fighting pay be given for combat-zone service to members of arms 
in which the monthly casualty rate reached a periodically determined figure, 
initially 1.2 percent. This percentage had hitherto been reached only by the 
Infantry. Its adoption would therefore favor the Infantry without explicit dis- 
crimination. To stop the practice by which, through award of grades and ratings, 
the Army paid more for "clerical and trade skill" than for fighters and leaders, 
he recommended in addition that the average base pay of enlisted men in all the 
combatant arms be raised to the level prevailing in the Ordnance Department. 
|(See Table NoT^ 

To obtain greater recognition for ground combat soldiers and hence to give 
them new incentives for efficiency, General McNair proposed the establishment 
of a Ground Medal to be awarded as liberally as the Air Medal. He proposed 
also that a title and grade of "Fighter" be established in the Infantry, that privates 
holding the title be addressed as such ("Fighter Jones" instead of "Private 
Jones"), and that all personnel earning the title, enlisted and commissioned, 
wear a fighter badge of appropriate design. Between fighting pay and the title of 
Fighter there was to be no connection. 26 

Finally, General McNair proposed that reception centers "assign, generally, 
to the infantry those selectees who are physically strong regardless of previous 
occupation, keeping the infantry intelligence level with the general average." He 
suggested that a physical test be given before assignment to the Infantry and that 
no selectees, unless of unusually good physique, be assigned to the Infantry if 
shorter than 5 feet 6 inches. 27 

* Tab B to AGF memo cited in n. 24. 

" (1) Tab D to AGF memo cited in n. 24. (2) AGF memo for G-i WD, 10 Aug 43, sub: Medal for 
Ground Trs. 200.6/80. 

" Tab E to AGF memo cited in n. 24. 


These proposals, submitted to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, on 28 August 
1943, were unfavorably received by G-i of the War Department General Staff. 28 
G-i thought that the American soldier would ridicule the term "Fighter," and 
on the matter of a Ground Medal he warned that "too liberal award of any 
decoration renders it valueless." Assignment to Infantry as suggested by General 
McNair, G— 1 maintained, "violates all the principles of correct personnel clas- 
sification and assignment." Treating together the proposal to raise base pay in all 
combat ground arms and the proposal for fighting pay especially designed by 
Army Ground Forces to favor the Infantry, G-i declared that all arms would 
benefit, and that hence the Infantry would gain little. Nevertheless, G-i con- 
sidered the infantry problem to be critical — so critical as to require more funda- 
mental correctives than those proposed by General McNair. It was suggested that 
the best correctives would be an intensive publicity campaign and "positive action 
by all commanding officers," chiefly to prevent individual misassignments. G-i 
also favored an Infantry Badge in place of the fighter badge, and an increase of 
grades and ratings in infantry combat companies. During the succeeding months 
Army Ground Forces, adhering to its basic proposals, recommended various 
modifications of the program in order to win its acceptance. 

Publicity, put forward as a major remedy by G-i of the War Department, 
had also been recommended to General McNair by G-i and G-3 of his own 
staff, but was one of the elements in their proposals on which he felt some reserva- 
tion. He desired no high-pressure advertising. 29 He created a new section on his 
staff, called a "Special Information Section," to promote understanding and 
appreciation of the Infantry on the part of the public. About half a dozen officers 
and a similar number of enlisted men with newspaper or other writing experience 
were assigned to it. Civilian writers, magazine editors, cartoonists, song writers, 
and moving picture executives were asked to give prominence to the Infantry in 
their work, using the words "infantry" and "doughboy" wherever possible. 
General McNair wrote personally to a number of the leading newspaper and 
magazine publishers of the country. 30 The Special Information Section worked 
through the War Department Bureau of Public Relations. To guide the Bureau 

" WD memo (C) WDGAP 330.1 1 for CofS USA, 14 Sep 43, sub: Reflection of Pride in Orgn and 
Satisfaction with Job Asgmt. 000.7/1 (Inf Prog) (C). 

" AGF M/S (C), CG to CofS, 16 Aug 43, and G-3 to CofS, 21 Aug 43, sub: Prog for Improvement of 
Morale, Efficiency, »nd Effectiveness of Inf . 000.7/1 (Inf Prog)(C). 

"See generally 000.7 ( Ir >f Pr °g)- 



of Public Relations, General Marshall wrote to its head, observing that the 
Infantry had borne 60 percent of the casualties in Italy: 31 

Men will stand almost anything if their work receives public acknowledgment. They 
are inclined to glory in its toughness and hazards if what they do is appreciated. There has 
been so little glamour in infantry work that the public is little aware of the requirements. On 
the contrary, if you will recall, I was opposed vigorously in the early formation of the Army 
for my attitude regarding the infantry soldier and his importance in our war army. It was 
to be all tanks and air, maybe a little artillery, with everybody motorized, etc. Now [in 
February 1944] the picture is being completed in accordance with the fundamental require- 
ments of waging a successful war. The haphazard theorizing is found to be without solid 
foundation, and the influence of the more glamorous methods of making war is found not 
to be sufficient for the purposes of successful operation. . . . 

It might well be charged that we have made the mistake of having too much of air and 
tank and other special weapons and units and too little of the rifleman for whom all these 
other combat arms must concentrate to get him forward with the least punishment and loss. 
I don't want to discourage the rifleman and yet I want his role made clear and exalted. I 
don't want to unduly alarm the families of riflemen and yet it is important that some action 
be taken. 

General McNair in March 1944 notified the Bureau of Public Relations that 
infantry units thus far stationed overseas, although constituting only 6 percent 
of the Army, had to date borne 53 percent of the casualties. He believed, however, 
that the figures should not be made public. 32 

Appreciation of the Infantry undoubtedly rose in 1944. How much this was 
due to efforts in public relations and how much to the facts of battle cannot be 
said. Infantry participated increasingly in overseas operations ; the main offensive 
was no longer conducted by aviation. In the popular mind the well-publicized 
but somewhat fruitless bombing of Cassino seems to have brought a sudden reali- 
zation of the infantryman's fundamental place. Yet it continued to be reported 
by qualified observers that the front line infantryman was in a bitter mood, 
believing himself an unappreciated and forgotten man, kept in combat until 
exhausted, wounded, or killed, and denied the comforts and advantages abund- 
antly provided to rear-area troops. "The infantryman," wrote a medical officer 
in August 1944 after service in Italy, "is at present the least appropriately 
rewarded specialist in the Army." 33 

"Memo (S) of Gen Marshall for Gen Surles, 6 Feb 44, sub: Appreciation of Inf Soldier. 000.7/8 

"AGF memo (S) for BPR WD, 18 Mar 44, sub: Inf Str and Casualty Figures. 000.7/8 (Inf Prog)(S). 
M ASF Monthly Progress Rpt (S) 7, "Health," p. 11. 



In place of the Ground Medal proposed by Army Ground Forces a Bronze 
Star Medal was established by executive order of the President in February 1944, 
to be awarded to members of any of the armed services "for heroic or meritorious 
achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection 
with military or naval operations against an enemy of the United States." 34 In 
place of the "Fighter" status originally proposed, Army Ground Forces (elaborat- 
ing the recommendation of G-i, War Department) obtained authorization of 
the titles, with corresponding badges, of Expert Infantryman and Combat 
Infantryman. 35 The first could be won by meeting in training or combat certain 
standards with respect to infantry weapons and tactics and to physical endurance 
and good military behavior. The second could be won by "exemplary conduct in 
action against the enemy." 36 

Pursuing its idea of fighter-pay, Army Ground Forces desired that the award 
of the Expert Infantryman badge carry an increase of pay of $10 a month, that of 
Combat Infantryman $i5- 37 After temporary objection by the Director of the 
Budget, sums of $5 and $10 respectively were obtained through legislation in 
June 1944. 38 Rearrangement of infantry Tables of Organization, prescribing 
higher grades for platoon, section, and squad leaders and increasing the number 
of privates first class, raised average infantry base pay from about $700 to about 
$743 a year. 39 Special compensation for the Infantry, which Army Ground Forces 
had wished to secure through fighter-pay, thus was obtained in part through 
Expert and Combat Infantryman badges, and in part by refusing increases of 
base pay to other arms than the Infantry. In contrast to the original AGF pro- 
posal, the plan adopted did not favor the front-line fighter as such but the 
Infantry as an arm. 

"Executive Order No. 9419, 4 Feb 44, published in Bui 3, WD, Feb 44. 

"AGF memo for CofS USA, 12 Oct 43, sub: Improvement of the Morale, Efficiency, and Effectiveness 
of Inf. 000.7/33 (Inf Prog). 

"(1) AGF memo (C) for G-i WD, 22 Oct 43, sub: WD Cir "Infantry Standards of Proficiency." 
000.7/1 (C). (2) Cir 322, WD, 11 Dec 43, "Standards for Expert Infantryman Badge"; Cir 186, WD, 11 
May 44, "Infantry Badge." (3) AGF ltr to CGs, 18 Jan 44, sub: Standards for Expert Infantryman Badge. 
300.6/2 (Inf Badge). 

" (1) AGF memo (C) for G-i WD, 25 Oct 43, sub: Raising of Average Annual Pay for Inf. 000.7/1 
(Inf Prog)(C). (2) AGF M/S, CofS to G-3, 27 Oct 43, sub: Inf Program. 000.7/22 (Inf Prog). 

" (1) WD Gen Council Min (S), 25 Apr 44, 26 Jun 44. (2) Cir 271, WD, 3 Jul 44. 

"(1) AGF M/S (C), G-3 to DCofS, 30 Oct 43. 000.7/101 (Inf Prog)(C). (2) Memo (C) of Gen 
McNarney for CGs AAF, AGF, ASF, 12 Dec 43, sub: Increased Pay for Inf NCOs. 000.7/1 (C). (3) Cir 323, 
WD, 13 Dec 43. 



Selective assignment to the Infantry on physical grounds was regarded by 
General McNair as a principal feature of the infantry program. On 11 November 
1943 he renewed his recommendation of 28 August, proposing that men "gener- 
ally" be assigned to the Infantry according to physical strength, as shown by 
tests, irrespective of civilian occupation. A sample of 6,000 infantrymen examined 
in November 1943 disclosed that they averaged only 5 feet 7.74 inches in height, 
as compared with an Army average of 5 feet 8.41 inches. Height provided a 
rough measure of strength. Where in August he had suggested 5 feet 6 inches, 
he now suggested 5 feet 9 inches as the height below which future inductees 
should not normally be assigned to the Infantry. 40 Hope for such a program 
seemed to be given by the publication at this time of Circular 293, which directed, 
with reservations, the assignment of enlisted men "to the most active type of 
duty appropriate to their physical qualifications." 

The Military Personnel Division, Army Service Forces, commenting on 
General McNair's proposal of 1 1 November, declared that the giving of physical 
tests at reception centers was impracticable. It added: 41 

The Military Personnel Division, Army Service Forces, does not concur in a further 
screening of general service enlisted men at reception centers to assign the higher physically 
qualified men within general service standards to infantry replacement training centers and 
units. There is no argument against the need of physically qualified men in the infantry. 
The need is similar in the field artillery, armored force, mobile antiaircraft artillery, and 
other combat and service units such as combat and general service engineers. 

The last sentence was precisely what the Army Ground Forces denied and 
believed to be implicitly denied also by the War Department in Circular 293. 42 
In divisions already in combat, the infantry rifle components were used up 
much faster than other components. The War Department, in January 1944, 
sought means of increasing the staying power of infantry. 43 The wear upon 
infantrymen was due in part to sickness and nonbattle casualties arising from the 
severe conditions in which infantrymen lived when in combat. General McNair 
suggested that with assignment of the strongest physical specimens to the Infan- 

" (1) AGF M/Ss, CofS to G—3, 27 Oct 43; CG to CofS, 6 Nov 43, sub: Inf Program. (2) AGF memo for 
G-i WD, 11 Nov 43, sub: Improvement of the Morale, Efficiency, and Effectiveness of Inf. Both in 000.7/22 
(Inf Prog). 

"MPD ASF memo (S) SPGAP/210.5 Gen (11 Nov 43)-89 for G-i WD, 23 Nov 43, sub' as in n. 
40(2). 000.7/8 (Inf Prog)(S). 

"See copy of Cir 293, WD, 11 Nov 43, annotated by CofS AGF. 327.3/209 (LS). 

tt WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (20 Jan 44) for CG AGF, 20 Jan 44, sub: Inf Str in the Inf Div. 
000.7/4 (Inf Prog)(S). 

6 4 


try this attrition might decline, and consequently that the various arms within a 
division would deteriorate at a more even rate. He renewed his proposals of 28 
August and 11 November 1943." 

They were again disapproved, but not because of a failure to appreciate 
the gravity of the situation. Not only had General Marshall expressed his anxiety, 
but also the Chief of the G-i Division of the General Staff had observed on 14 
February that in consequence of emphasis on civilian skills "the combat arms got 
what was left after the Air Forces and Service Forces had selected the pick of the 
lot." 45 The latter stated, however, on 23 March 1944, that General McNair's pro- 
posals would destroy the "time tested policies" whereby civilian occupation and 
military training were considered in making assignments. 46 Meanwhile remedial 
action had been initiated. On 3 March 1944, reception centers were instructed to 
assign the physically strongest inductees to the Army Ground Forces. New pro- 
cedures in classification, known as the "Physical Profile Plan" and designed to 
regularize this policy, were already being applied experimentally. These were 
believed by the War Department to be preferable to General McNair's clear-cut 
but somewhat arbitrary distinction by height. 

Pending the decision of the War Department, Army Ground Forces 
renewed its effort to have the best physical specimens under its own jurisdiction 
assigned to the Infantry. On 20 February it dispatched a confidential letter to its 
subordinate commanders, pointing out that the Infantry had a scarcity value, that 
it comprised only 11 percent of the Troop Basis, that it was nevertheless the 
decisive arm, that it must therefore be scrupulously conserved, and that the 
strongest and healthiest men should be assigned to it. All commanders were 
enjoined to comply strictly with the provision in Circular 293 that enlisted men 
should be given the most active type of duty suited to their physical 
qualifications. 47 

The Physical Profile System 

Proposals for selective assignment to the Infantry merged into a more com- 
prehensive effort to obtain changes in the whole system of classification and 

" (1) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 1 Feb 44, sub: Inf Str in Inf Div. (2) Memo of Gen 
McNair for G-i WD, 17 Feb 44, sub: Improvement of the Effectiveness of Inf. Both in 000.7/8 (Inf Prog) (S). 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 14 Feb 44. 

" (1) WD memo (S) WDGAP 330.11 (6 Mar 44), 23 Mar 44, sub: Improvement of the Morale, Effi- 
ciency, and Effectiveness of Inf. (2) MPD ASF memo (S) SPGAP/327.31 (17 Feb 44) for G-i WD, 9 Mar 
44, sub: Improvement of the Effectiveness of Inf. Both in 000.7/8 (Inf Prog)(S). 

" AGF Itr (C) to CGs, 20 Feb 44, sub: Strengthening the Inf. 321/103 (Inf)(C). 



assignment of enlisted personnel. General McNair had come to favor emphasis 
on physical classification as a means of procuring not only stronger but also more 
intelligent combat soldiers. If men were assigned primarily according to 
physique, then each major command would receive more nearly the same pro- 
portions of men of all intelligence levels and of various degrees of civilian 

In December 1943, noting that discrimination against the ground arms in 
the distribution of men by AGCT grades had become accentuated in the preced- 
ing months, Army Ground Forces had again requested a more equal apportion- 
ment. 48 The Army Service Forces, through its Control Division, replied that the 
action recommended by the Army Ground Forces was not justified by the figures 
submitted ; it held that the Ground Forces must unavoidably receive a less intel- 
ligent group of men, partly because of War Department priorities for aviation 
cadets and ASTP students, which militated against the Ground and Service 
Forces alike, and partly because "the primary factor" in assignment was to utilize 
civilian skills, which militated against the Ground Forces in particular. It was 
natural, Army Service Forces declared, for the Ground Forces to receive a lower 
percentage of men with high AGCT scores than the Service Forces, "because of 
greater requirements for such personnel in Army Service Forces." No change in 
AGCT distributions could be expected, it was added, as long as the main basis of 
assignment was the Requirement and Replacement Rates in which branch 
requirements for occupational specialists were set forth. 49 

It was clear, as it had been for some time, that the quality of personnel in the 
ground arms could be raised only through a radical change in the personnel 
policies of the Army. On 21 December 1943 General McNair proposed such a 
change to the War Department. 50 After summarizing the causes of the relatively 
low quality of personnel in the ground arms, he restated his belief that the sub- 
average percentage of ground soldiers in the upper intelligence levels had con- 
tributed to the high casualty rate of infantrymen. He ascribed the subaverage 
physical quality of the Infantry in part "to the fact that professional men or 
skilled workers come from the more privileged classes, which are better fed 
and housed, and, as a result, have better physiques, generally." He asserted that, 
with mobilization and training virtually complete, it was no longer necessary to 

" AGF 3d ind (S) to ASF, 22 Dec 43. 327.3/100 (S). 
w ASF4thind (S) to AGF, 12 Jan 44. 327.3/100 (S). 

"AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 21 Dec 43, sub: Utilization of Available Manpower Based on Physical 
Capacity. 327.3/8 (S). 



utilize the civilian skills of soldiers and that "assignment by occupational specialty 
should be made secondary and be limited to that practicable within physical 
groupings, except for rare specialists." As additional proof of this point of view 
he summarized the methods of physical classification in the British, Canadian, 
and German Armies. 

General McNair submitted a relatively simple plan. In effect the procedure 
he now proposed would be a simplified version of that followed under the 
Requirement and Replacement Rate Tables, except that the rates would measure 
physical rather than occupational needs in the Army, and would refer to the 
physical rather than occupational status of individual men. The recognition of 
three physical categories was involved : Category A, to include "men who must 
walk as riflemen, litter-bearers and linemen, and are capable of full combat 
service"; Category B, to include men able to function in service units, or in 
combat units in jobs carrying a place in the loading chart of a vehicle; and Cate- 
gory C, to include men permanently disqualified for shipment overseas. Various 
"units, establishments and components of the Army" should formulate their 
requirements for men in each category. "For example, an infantry unit might 
have 90% Category A and 10% Category B ; a field artillery unit 70% Category 
A and 30% Category B; and a laundry unit 100% Category B." Reception centers 
and other assigning agencies should classify men in the three categories and send 
them to using organizations in the proportions determined for each organization. 
General McNair also recommended an equal distribution of AGCT classes to the 
three commands; the return to the Ground Forces of rejected aviation cadets 
originating in the ground arms who were being used by the Air Forces in ground 
assignments ; and cessation of transfers from the Ground Forces for most forms of 
flying training. 

By the end of January 1944 there was "unanimous agreement" in the War 
Department that better use must be made of soldiers according to physical 
capacity. It has not agreed that physical capacity should dominate assignment 
to the degree desired by General McNair. Nor were the details of implementation 
as suggested by General McNair accepted. The Surgeon General, G-i of the War 
Department, and others submitted plans. They reached an agreement on what 
was called the "Physical Profile Plan," which reception centers began to employ 
experimentally in February 1944. 51 

The plan incorporated the main features of the AGF proposal, including 

61 (1) WD Gen Council Min (S), 31 Jan 44. (2) WD memo WDGAP 201.5 for CofS USA, 24 Feb 44, 
sub: Physical Profile. 220.01 /i (PhysProf). 


6 7 

three categories known as A, B, and C. B2 Criteria determining classification in 
these categories were elaborately defined. Six elements in physical condition 
were distinguished : general stamina, upper extremities, lower extremities, hear- 
ing, vision, and emotional stability. In each element the soldier was graded from 
1 down to 4. Grades 1 and 2 corresponded to qualification for general military 
service; Grade 3 to qualification for induction into the Army but not for general 
service (that is, the old limited service); and Grade 4 to a condition below 
minimum standards for induction. The six numbers obtained by grading, one 
for each element in physical condition, when read together in the proper order, 
as in "21 121 1," constituted the soldier's "physical profile serial." A soldier pro- 
filed as 21 121 1 would be of top quality in upper and lower extremities, vision, and 
emotional stability, and of good quality, though not superior, in general stamina 
and in hearing. Men with serials of 21 121 1 or better were grouped in Profile A. 
Profile A qualified for strenuous combat duty. Serials below 211211 to and includ- 
ing 322231 were grouped in Profile B. A "B" man at the worst, that is, if profiled as 
322231, would be a man emotionally stable, with adequate command of his arms, 
legs, and hearing, but with impaired vision and of limited stamina. Profile B 
qualified for less rigorous combat duty or for service duty in or near the battle 
areas. Serials below 322231 to and including 333231 were grouped in Profile C, 
which qualified for duty in base positions in the United States or overseas. 
Occurrence of a "4" anywhere in the serial signified a man below minimum 
standards for induction. Such a man who was already trained and functioning 
satisfactorily in an Army assignment, however, could be retained at the discretion 
of his commander; he was classified in a fourth category, Profile D. 53 It was of 
course not practicable to profile at once all of the more than seven million 
enlisted men in the Army. The War Department directed that reception centers 
should profile new inductees, that hospitals, reassignment centers, and redistribu- 
tion stations should profile the men they processed, and that troop units should 
profile men as occasion arose — for example, in cases of reassignment. Inductees 
were to have their profiles reviewed after six weeks of basic training. 

To determine requirements according to physical profile, staff officers at 
AGF headquarters studied every enlisted job in each of the ground arms, and 
also in each of the service branches to the extent that units of these branches 

u (1) WD Memo W40-44, 18 May 44, sub: Physical Profile Plan. 220.01/1 (Phys Prof). (2) Supple- 
ment to MR 1-9, 22 May 44, sub: Physical Profile Serial. (3) AGF ltr to CGs, 20 Jun 44, sub: Physical Profile 
Plan. 220.01/7 (Phys Prof). 

™ The designation "BC" (below C) was sometimes used instead of "D." 



belonged to the Ground Forces. 54 For each SSN the staff estimated the physical 
standards needed, translating these into the 6-digit physical profile serials. The 
same SSN might require different physical standards in different arms and 
services. For example, a bugler in either the Infantry or Field Artillery was 
designated as SSN 803 ; but buglers in the Infantry were considered to require a 
better physique than buglers in the Field Artillery. For each arm and service 
the SSN's were grouped into Profiles A, B, and C. The number of men required 
for each type of job was estimated according to current replacement rates. The 
proportion of men in each profile group needed by various arms and services was 
then announced to the War Department to be as follows : 

Arm or Service Percentage Required in Each Profile Group 


Infantry 86 7 7 

Field Artillery 80 5 15 

Cavalry 71 13 16 

Antiaircraft 6g 23 12 

Armored 61 18 21 

Tank Destroyer 60 9 31 

Signal 55 11 34 

Chemical 40 25 35 

Engineers 35 40 25 

Medical 10 78 12 

Quartermaster 10 50 40 

Ordnance 5 30 65 

Since the greatest proportion of the men received by the Ground Forces at this 
time (April 1944) were needed by the Infantry, General McNair recommended 
that 80 percent of new inductees made available to the Ground Forces be in 
Profile A. 55 

The War Department, accepting the AGF figures, ordered that new induc- 
tees should be shipped from reception centers to the three major commands as 


Percentage To Be Shipped in 

Each Profile 




Army Ground Forces 




Army Air Forces 




Army Service Forces 




M Papers in 220.01 / 422 (sep file). 

65 AGF memo for G-i WD, 17 Apr 44, sub: Physical Profile Plan. 220.01 /i (Phys Prof). 


6 9 

Representatives of the Army Ground Forces now appeared alongside those of 
the Air Forces at reception centers. They were authorized to determine which 
individual inductees, among those provided by each reception center to the 
Ground Forces as a whole on a given day, should go to infantry replacement 
centers, to field artillery replacement centers, to particular infantry or armored 
divisions, and so forth. In this way the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces 
could guide the flow of inductees to produce the percentages of A, B, and C men 
desired in each of the ground arms. 

Reception centers might assign certain "critically needed specialists," as 
determined each month by the War Department, irrespective of physical profile, 
but in general they were to proceed as follows : They would first assure that at 
least 80 percent of the men assigned to Army Ground Forces were in Profile A, 
10 percent in B, and so forth. They would then assign men to Army Air Forces 
and Army Service Forces by SSN's, in accordance with the Requirement and 
Replacement Rates, but taking care to keep within the prescribed distribution of 
physical capacities as far as possible. Classification officers were to "bear in mind 
that physical qualification is the first consideration and that occupational back- 
ground is secondary in importance." The Army Ground Forces thus found its 
main contention accepted. Physique would be in principle the primary criterion 
in assignment. 

Though the Physical Profile system was fully in operation by June 1944, it 
came too late to affect the bulk of the Army. The invasion of western Europe 
was beginning. Half the divisions in the Army were overseas, the other half 
preparing for early shipment. Applying chiefly to newly inducted men, the 
profile system might most fully justify itself by raising the quality of replace- 
ments. This was a matter of great importance. Units in intensive combat some- 
times received 1.00 percent of their strength in replacements within two or three 
months. Quality of replacements might therefore rapidly affect quality of the 
Army at the decisive spot — namely, in the front lines. 

Limited Success of the Physical Profile System 

During the last six months of 1944, well over the required 80 percent of 
men received from reception centers by the Army Ground Forces were in 
Profile A, and most of the remainder were in Profile B. But in practice the 
utilization of manpower according to physical capacity continued to fall short 

u WD Memo W615-44, 6 Jim 44, sub: Asgmt of Enl Men from Recp Cens. 

7 o 


of what was desired by the Army Ground Forces. The high proportion of men 
in Profile A was in part deceptive. The Army at this time was not generally 
inducting men over twenty-six or of limited physical powers. The proportion of 
"A" men assigned to the Army Air Forces and Army Service Forces greatly 
exceeded the 10 percent and 40 percent respectively allotted. 57 This meant that 
for the quality of currently incoming manpower the profile system was not 
highly selective, that the idea of physical interchangeability persisted, and that 
of two men differing in physical capacity the stronger might still go to a service 
position while the weaker went into combat. For example, two men with serials 
of iiiiii and 211211 both fell in Profile A; the latter might become an infantry 
rifleman while the former, excelling him in stamina and hearing, went to the 
Army Air Forces or the Army Service Forces, especially if he had a civilian 
specialty desired by one of these commands. In addition, profiling at reception 
centers was not very accurate. Medical officers at reception centers were too few 
for the purpose, and consequently they determined profiles by consulting the 
records of physical examinations transmitted from induction stations, supple- 
menting them by an inspection so cursory that many inductees were not even 
required to strip. 58 The tendency, reinforced by the War Department directive 
that borderline cases should be graded upward, was to profile too high, to use 
the serial in in rather indiscriminately. Medical officers in the Ground Forces 
downgraded about one man in every nine after six weeks of basic training. 59 

The application of the Physical Profile system could not solve the problem 
posed by the excess of physically inferior men already in the Army Ground 
Forces in the summer of 1944. 60 Such men had accumulated since the directives 
of 1943 restricting transfer to service commands and curtailing discharges. Men 
newly received in Profile C, or downgraded into Profiles C or D, added to the 
number. With overhead positions in the Ground Forces being rapidly filled by 
men unqualified for overseas service, and with the shipment to theaters of units 
which might otherwise have found assignments for soldiers of low physical cali- 
ber, the disposition of handicapped personnel presented an insoluble problem. 

" AGF memo for G-i WD, 4 Oct 44, sub': Distribution of Pers According to Physical Profile. 220.01/34 

58 (i)Memo of Lt Col T. A. McCrary, Enl Div G-i AGF, for CofS AGF, 4 Jul 44, sub: Visit to Recp 
Cens. 220.01/35 (Phys Prof). (2) AGF M/S, C&RD to CofS, 8 Jul 44, sub: Inspection Trip. 220.01/31 
(Phys Prof). 

"AGF memo for TAG, 28 Oct 44, sub: Rpt of Losses and Gains by Physical Profile. 220.01/47 (Phys 

" AGF M/S (C), G-i to CofS, 22 Aug 44, sub: Excess CI D Pers. 327.3/107 (LS)(C). 



Every installation in the Ground Forces had its burden, wasteful to all concerned, 
of men who could be neither trained, utilized, nor transferred. In August 1944 
the War Department indicated that, without publicity and under existing 
directives, discharges on physical grounds should be liberalized. 61 Tactical units 
of the Ground Forces were ordered to clear themselves of men unfit for overseas 
service, by discharge of those deemed absolutely unusable by the Army and by 
transfer of the remainder to the headquarters, special troops, of armies and 
corps for further screening and reassignment. 82 

For a time the Physical Profile system was virtually nullified by the fact that 
18-year-olds and "pre-Pearl Harbor fathers" received special treatment, and, as a 
consequence, the Army Ground Forces had to assign inductees to the various 
arms almost irrespective of physical condition. 

The teen-age question had first arisen at the end of 1942, when the draft age 
was lowered from twenty to eighteen. The War Department, wishing to use the 
younger age group in combat positions, had granted replacement training cen- 
ters of the Army Ground Forces a high priority in assignment of inductees 
between the ages of eighteen and twenty, inclusive. 63 In May 1943 Army Ground 
Forces, anticipating unfavorable public comment if teen-age men went into 
combat after only thirteen weeks of training, the cycle then in effect at replace- 
ment centers, recommended that men of eighteen or nineteen be assigned to 
units which were not at that time moving rapidly overseas, and men of twenty 
or over to replacement centers. 64 The War Department had not believed this 
proposal to be feasible, because with the decline of activations incident to curtail- 
ment of the Troop Basis practically all inductees, whatever their age, had to be 
trained as replacements. 65 Then, with casualties mounting, the War Department 

" (1) Extract (C) from Rpt of ASF conference at Ft Leonard Wood, 27-28 Jul 44. 327.3/107 (LS)(C). 
(2) Memo (C) of DCofS USA for CG AGF, 21 Aug 44, sub: Enl Men — Utilization of Manpower Based on 
Physical Capacity. 327.3/107 (LS)(C). (3) Cir 370, WD, 12 Sep 44. 

" (1) AGF ltr (C) to CGs, 23 Aug 44, sub: Enl Men — Utilization of Manpower Based on Physical 
Capacity. 327-3/i°7 (LS)(C). (2) AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 13 Sep 44, sub: Transfer of CI D Pers. 220.3/112 

** (1) WD memo WDGCT 324.71 (11-12-43) for CofS USA, 12 Nov 43, sub: Use of 18-19 Age Gp. 
AGO Records, 324.71. (2) WD ltr (C) AG 32471 ("-12-43) OC-E-WDGCT-M to CGs, 5 Dec 42, sub: 
Asgmt of 18, 19, and 20 Year Old Enl Men. 327.3/2 (C). 

M (1) AGF M/S (C), G— 1 to CofS, 11 May 43, sub: Advisability of Sending Loss Repls Overseas in 
18-19 Year Age Gp with 13 Wks Tng. 341/174 (C). (2) AGF memo (C) for G-i WD, 4 Jun 43, sub: 
Overseas Loss Repls within 18-19 Age Bracket, 327.3/2 (C). 

" TAG 1st ind (C) to AGF, 29 Jun 43. 327.3/2 (C). 



in February 1944 ordered that no 18-year-old should go overseas as a replacement 
until other sources of replacements, both units and replacement centers, had been 
exhausted. 66 The same ruling was applied to men with a child or children pre- 
sumably conceived (not born) before the declaration of war, and with less than 
six months' service in the Army. In June 1944 it was ordered unconditionally 
that no man under nineteen should go overseas as a replacement for an infantry 
or armored unit. 67 It was therefore further ordered that no inductee younger than 
eighteen years and six months should be assigned to an infantry or armored 
replacement center. 68 

In June 1944 almost all inductees received by the Army Ground Forces were 
going to replacement centers, and of these more than 70 percent went to infantry 
and about 5 percent to armored. At the same time only half the inductees were 
over nineteen years of age, and only about three-quarters were over eighteen 
years and six months. To meet the need for infantry and armored replacements 
with men over eighteen years and six months took virtually all such men avail- 
able, including those of Profiles B and C. Conversely, the field artillery, anti- 
aircraft, cavalry, and tank destroyer replacement centers received hardly any 
trainees except youths under this age. These young men ranked high in Profile 
A's; yet the arms receiving them required fewer "A's" proportionately than did 
the Infantry. The AGF liaison officers at reception centers were therefore unable 
to perform a principal part of their mission — to steer into the Infantry the best 
physical specimens available to the Ground Forces. Age, not physique, for newly 
inducted men within the ground arms, became the main determinant of 
assignment. 69 

Policy was again reversed, therefore, at the end of August. Men under eigh- 
teen years and six months entered infantry and armored replacement centers. 
Effective 1 November 1944, by which time these men would have almost com- 
pleted their training, the sending of men under nineteen as overseas infantry or 
armored replacements was again authorized. Older men were still to be sent 

"WD memo (C) WDGCT 200 (26 Feb 44) for CG AGF, 26 Feb 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/107 (O'seas 

" WD memo (C) WDGCT 370.5 (24 Jun 44) for CG AGF, 24 Jun 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/107 (O'seas 
Repls) (C). 

98 WD D/F (C) WDGAP 220.3 to MPD ASF, 26 Jun 44. 320.2/107 (O'seas Repls)(C). 

M (i) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 28 Jul 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/107 (O'seas Repls) (C). (2) AGF 
M/S (C), C&RD to G-i, 3 Jul 44, sub: Physically Unfit Trainees. 220.3/3 (LD)(C). (3) Papers in 
220.01 / 29, 33, and 35 (Phys Prof). 



first, but the demand for infantry replacements was so heavy that in practice even 
the youngest men were needed. 70 

The effectiveness of the Physical Profile system was further limited by the 
continuance of systems of recruiting and volunteering. Volunteers at this time 
were 17-year-olds who, by high physical and mental qualifications, had gained 
admittance to one of the enlisted reserve programs. On 1 March 1944, 67 percent 
of these top-quality 17-year-olds were in the Navy reserve, 31 percent in the Air 
Corps reserve, and 2 percent in the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program 
(ASTRP). 71 Reservists, when called to active duty after reaching the age of 
eighteen, were not subjected to the Physical Profile system. As an Army proce- 
dure, the system naturally did not apply to Navy personnel. In practice it also 
did not apply to Army reservists. Each major force of the Army, which in effect 
meant the Air Forces, received its inducted reservists (who if profiled would have 
been mostly "A's") outside its prescribed quota of profile groupings. 

At a time when about half the men processed by Selective Service were 
18-year-olds, the most desirable element in this group, through preselection at 
the 17-year-old level, was outside the normal channels of classification and 

Except insofar as the Navy or the Air Forces were not able to use all the 
reservists that they had recruited, the Ground and Service Forces could hope to 
receive from the reservist group only those who were enrolled in the ASTRP. 
The Army Service Forces, foreseeing dire consequences in 1945, when the current 
17-year-olds would enter upon active duty, and desiring therefore to build up the 
ASTRP, requested General McNair to make a public statement on the attractive- 
ness of service in the ground arms so that youngsters might be more inclined to 
elect the ASTRP. 72 General McNair was unwilling to make another "futile 
verbal gesture." 73 Instead, he protested to the War Department against the com- 
petition for manpower in preinduction reservist training. He recommended that 
17-year-olds for the Army programs be procured by a single agency of the War 
Department acting centrally for the three major commands, and that reservists 
when inducted, except the relatively small number still going to the ASTP 
(much smaller than the number in the ASTRP), be classified and assigned at 

™ WD memo (S) WDGCT 370.5 (4 Aug 44) for AGF, ASF, 4 Aug 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/142 (O'seas 

T1 ASF memo, Div o£ Mil Tng for CG AGF, 17 Apr 44, sub; Development of ASTRP. $27.3/637. 
7 'Ibid. 

n AGF M/S, CG to G-i, 6 May 44, sub: ASTRP. 327.3/637". 



reception centers according to the Physical Profile system. 74 No action was taken 
on this proposal. 75 "The War Department," reported an AGF staff officer, "will 
not eliminate the Air Corps Enlisted Reserve Program since it is the Army's only 
means of competing with the Navy, and the Navy has repeatedly indicated that 
they will riot eliminate their recruiting program." 76 

The hope of the Army Ground Forces that the Physical Profile system would 
increase the percentage of high-intelligence men assigned to the ground combat 
arms met with disappointment. Young men with high intelligence and capacities 
for leadership continued to be drained off in large numbers, through the reserve 
programs, to the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Army Air Forces. Further- 
more, the tremendous mobilization of manpower in the preceding years had 
removed from the scope of Selective Service the best-qualified men, except the 
young men just attaining draft age. In all of 1944 the proportion of Class I and 
Class II men inducted into the Army was only 30.6 percent; this compares with a 
proportion of 35 percent among those inducted in 1943. 77 

Even if the quality of manpower available to the Army as a whole in 1944 
and 1945 had remained as high as in the earlier years of the war, the application 
of the Physical Profile system could not have effected any major improvement in 
the quality of newly inducted men received by the Army Ground Forces, because 
the proportionate distribution of inductees among the major commands under- 
went a radical change during the last year of the war. Until the summer of 1944 
the Army Ground Forces had been assigned only about 40 percent of the men 
processed at Army reception centers. After June 1944, because of the shortage of 
ground troops qualified for combat, the great majority of newly inducted men 
were assigned to the Ground Forces, the bulk of them to the Infantry. During 
the 6-month period November-April 1944-45, the Army Ground Forces received 
approximately 378,000 men from reception centers, or about 90 percent of the 
420,000 men assigned to the three major commands of the Army. 78 With the 

™ (1) AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 17 Jun 44, sub: Asgmt of Enl Pers. 327.4/104 (C). (2) AGF 
memo for G-i WD, 22 May 44, sub: Recruiting. 327.3/ 637. 

™ (1) WD D/F WDGAP (23 May 44) to CG AGF, 4 Jul 44. (2) AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 8 Jul 44, 
sub: Recruiting. Both in 327.3/637. 

™ Memo of Lt Col T. A. McCrary, Enl Div G-i AGF, for CofS AGF, 4 Jul 44, sub: Visit to Recp Cens. 
220.01/35 (PhysProf). 

71 Percentages compiled in Historical Division, WDSS, based on statistics of Classification and Replace- 
ment Branch, AGO, reports on Forms XOC-62, 63, 64. 

™ (1) WD ltr (S) WDGCT (30 Oct 44) to CGs AGF, AAF, ASF, 30 Oct 44, sub: Allocation of Personnel. 
327.3/104 (SS)(S). (2) Annual Report, 1945 (R), C&RD, AGF. 



overwhelming majority of the men received by the Army through induction 
being assigned to the Army Ground Forces, no improvement in the classification 
system within the Army could have greatly increased the number of high-quality 
men assigned to the ground combat arms. 

Since no major improvement in the quality of men available for assignment 
to ground combat training could be effected by the Army itself, the Command- 
ing General of the Army Ground Forces proposed, on 15 June 1945, that the 
War Department initiate remedial measures "to effect total procurement of 
enlisted personnel for the armed forces through the medium of the Selective 
Service System and on a basis that will equalize age and intelligence distribu- 
tion." 79 A corrective of unbalanced distribution as between the armed forces had 
been sought by an agreement with the Navy on 15 March 1945. In accordance 
with this pact the allocations to the Navy of 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old inductees 
was suspended for a 3-month period in order to compensate the Army for the 
large number of young men already in the Navy who were enlisted as 17-year- 
olds. The agreement, however, was conditioned by the authority given the Navy 
to screen substantial numbers of inductees, regardless of age, who successfully 
completed the "Eddy" radio aptitude test and who were preponderantly men of 
high intelligence. 

The Eddy test provided the Navy with an efficient means of recruiting high- 
quality volunteers among 17-year-olds and other men about to be called up for 
induction. As a result of this device the Navy was found by Army Ground 
Forces to be still securing about half the eligible young men becoming eighteen 
years of age — the better half in terms of intelligence and physical stamina. In 
consequence, the young men inducted into the Army had to be obtained from a 
less desirable segment of the manpower being obtained by the armed forces. 
Increasingly, the Army had to draw upon men in the older age group to fill its 
induction quotas. Between August 1944 and April 1945 the percentage of Army 
selectees within the 18-25 year age group declined from 88 percent to 56 percent. 
During the same period the percentage of Profile A men received by Army 
Ground Forces from reception centers declined from 91 percent to 75 percent. In 
the spring of 1945 the Army Ground Forces desired that 95 percent of its infantry 
trainees should be Profile A men ; actually only about 82 percent were in Profile 
A, and the other combat arms were all receiving less than 50 percent of men in 

™ AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 15 Jun 45, sub: Procurement of Enl Pers for the Armed Forces. With 
atchd charts. 327.3/104 (SS)(S). 



Profile A. With heavy replacement requirements in prospect for the war in the 
Pacific, the Army Ground Forces felt that this situation ought to be rectified. 80 

On ii August, three days before V-J Day, the War Department responded 
to representations by the Army Ground Forces that efforts were being exerted to 
persuade the Navy Department to eliminate the use of the Eddy test in the Navy's 
personnel procurement program. The War Department agreed that the recom- 
mendation of the Commanding General, Army Ground Forces, presented a 
desirable objective, and stated that it was "continually exerting efforts to bring 
about total procurement of enlisted personnel for all of the armed forces through 
the medium of selective service." 81 No further action was taken, for with the 
end of the war the procurement of high-type personnel was no longer a problem. 
Induction schedules were substantially reduced .after V-J Day, and the men 
inducted into the Army could be chosen from those best qualified for military 
service. In the last four months of 1945, 97 percent of the enlisted personnel 
received by Army Ground Forces from reception centers were Profile A men. 82 

The Physical Profile system did not receive a fair wartime test as a device 
for funneling a larger proportion of high-quality men into ground combat 
service. The system remained a hopeful experiment, the effectiveness of which 
cannot be properly judged on the basis of the Army's experience in 1944 and 1945. 

The Transfer of High-Quality Personnel to the Ground Arms 

Quantitative requirements in the Infantry in 1944, by forcing extensive 
transfers of manpower within the Army, made it possible to take positive meas- 
ures for qualitative improvement. At the beginning of 1944 the nonalerted 
infantry divisions in the Army Ground Forces were understrength from fur- 
nishing overseas replacements. Each was further stripped for replacements until 
the latest feasible date before its embarkation. The depleted divisions were gen- 
erally refilled with men of higher quality (in terms of AGCT scores) than those 
lost. The chief disadvantage was that the new men could be given only a limited 
amount of training before their divisions moved overseas. 

As previously noted, the first element to be sacrificed to the growing need 
for combat soldiers was the Army Specialized Training Program. Following the 

■> ibid. 

n WD D/F (S) WDGAP 327 to CG AGF, 11 Aug 45, sub: Procurement of Enl Pers for the Armed 
Forces. 327.3/104 (SS)(S). 

m Annual Report, 1945 (R), C&RD, AGF. 



virtual dissolution of the ASTP in February 1944, the Ground Forces obtained 
73,000 men, virtually all in the youngest and most vigorous age group and in 
AGCT Classes I and II. Almost 50,000 of these men had been members of the 
Ground Forces before their assignment to the ASTP. 83 

A few weeks later, on 29 March 1944, the War Department ordered the 
transfer to the Ground and Service Forces of 30,000 aviation cadets who were 
not needed by the Air Forces and who had originated in the other two com- 
mands. 84 Further recruiting of aviation cadets among AGF and ASF personnel 
was stopped. 85 Of the 30,000 transferred cadets the Ground Forces received 
24,000, of whom 20,000 had formerly been members of the Army Ground 
Forces. 86 Most of the aviation cadets were in AGCT Classes I and II, and they 
were physically an even better lot than the ASTP students. 

The War Department desired these men to be spread widely among receiv- 
ing units, since the purpose was not merely to fill shortages but also to improve 
the quality of junior leadership in the ground arms. A War Department circular 
stressed the essential importance of "noncommissioned officers who exercise 
command responsibilities," the italics serving to distinguish them from enlisted 
technicians who also wore chevrons. 87 

The Army Ground Forces assigned virtually all the aviation cadets and 
55,500 of the ASTP students to divisions, the remainder of the ASTP students 
going to nondivisional units. 88 Units receiving ASTP students gave up, in partial 
exchange, a small number of Classes III, IV, and V men, of whom 15,000 were 
shipped by the Ground Forces to the Service Forces in the course of the ASTP 
transaction. 89 Thirty-five divisions, infantry, armored, and airborne, received on 

"Papers in 353 (ASTP)(S) 1944, especially the following: (1) AGF M/S (S), G-i to C&RD, 26 Feb 
44, sub: Distribution of ASTP Pers. 353/101 (ASTP)(S). (2) AGF M/S (S), Sec to G-i, 14 Feb 44, sub: 
ASTP Graduates (Journal — CofS), 11 Feb 44. 353/101 (ASTP)(S). (3) WD D/F WDGAP 353 ASTP 
(S), G-i to CG AGF, 16 Feb 44, sub: Reduction in ASTP. 353/100 (ASTP)(S). (4) AGF M/S (S), G-i 
Control Div to G-i, 26 Feb 44, sub: Rpt concerning Distribution of ASTP Students. 353/100 (ASTP)(S). 

" (1) WD Gen Council Min (S), 27 Mar 44. (2) WD memo WDGCT 220.3 (24 Mar 44) for CG AGF, 
29 Mar 44, sub: Almt of Pers Released by AAF. 220.3/21 19. 
" Cir 93, WD, 3 Mar 44. 

" AAF memo to G— 3 WD, inclosed with WD memo cited in n. 84(2). 
" Cir 70, WD, 16 Feb 44, sub: NCOs. 

w (1) AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 26 Feb 44, sub: Distribution of ASTP Pers. 353/101 (ASTP)(R). (2) AGF 
ltr to CGs, 6 Apr 44, sub: Distribution of Avn Cadet Tng Pers. 220.3/212914 (R). (3) AGF memo (R) to 
CG AAF, 6 Apr 44, sub: Almt of Pers Released by AAF. 220.3/ 115 (R). 

■ ASF memo SPX 220.3 (1 May 44) OC-T for CG AGF, 1 May 44, sub: Transfer of 15,000 AGF EM 
to ASF. 354.1/4 (Reassgmt Cens). 



the average over 1,500 ASTP students each. Twenty-two divisions received on 
the average about 1,000 aviation cadets each. All divisions still in the United 
States, except those scheduled for earliest shipment overseas and the 10th Moun- 
tain Division, which contained an exceptional proportion of high-grade men, 
received infusions of the new manpower. Some infantry divisions, those which 
were most depleted or which had the lowest intelligence ratings, obtained over 
3,000 men from the two sources combined. All divisions assigned the ASTP 
students and aviation cadets mainly to their infantry components. 

The effect on the training of troops was immediate. Divisions whose officers 
and men were depressed by the loss of their old personnel, and discouraged by the 
thought that they might become purely replacement organizations doomed not 
to go overseas as units, were revived in spirit by the incoming trainloads of high- 
quality young men. The newcomers faced a difficult problem of personal read- 
justment, since their sudden transfer to the Infantry placed them in a type of 
service very different from all they had been led to expect. They nevertheless 
proved with a few exceptions to be excellent soldiers. With their superior intel- 
ligence they could absorb infantry training more rapidly than the type of men 
usually received by the ground arms. Divisions could therefore, despite personnel 
turnover, still meet the readiness dates required by strategic plans. After inspect- 
ing certain of these divisions General McNair reported that with a period of 
retraining they would be better divisions than those previously dispatched to the 
theaters. 90 The 26th Division, for example, benefited by the redistribution of men 
by AGCT classes as follows: 91 

/ II III IV -V Total 

Percentage Distribution before 
Transfers of Aviation Cadets and 

ASTP Students ( 1 Nov 43) 4 30 36 30 100 

Percentage Distribution after 

Transfers of Aviation Cadets and 

ASTP Students (after Mar 44) 8 36 30 26 100 

The 26th Division was not entirely typical. Its earlier distribution was consider- 
ably better than that of most divisions, which in November 1943 had on the 
average about 28 percent of their enlisted personnel in AGCT Classes I and II, 
and 38 percent in Classes IV and V. 92 On the other hand, the 26th Division 
received fewer ASTP students and aviation cadets than most divisions. 

*° WD Gen Council Min (S), 10 Apr, 10 Jul 44. 

n AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 17 Jun 44, sub: Asgmt of Enl Pers. 327-3/ 1°4 (C). 
M See tables in 327.3/7 (sep file) (S). 



With rising quantitative requirements, the War Department in April 1944 
approved a program to encourage men in other arms and services to volunteer 
for the Infantry. 93 How much the quality of the Infantry improved through this 
process is not clear. Some Infantry volunteers were chronic malcontents dissat- 
isfied in their old units. Others were culls made to volunteer for the Infantry by 
pressure from their commanders. But most seem to have been men desiring more 
active duty as the tempo of operations overseas speeded up. A study made at AGF 
headquarters in June 1944 indicated that Infantry volunteers were generally 
somewhat younger and of somewhat higher intelligence than the average infan- 
tryman in November 1943. 94 The total number of volunteers is difficult to 
ascertain since many were reassigned by commanders without reference to 
Washington. As of 30 September 1944, 22,822 voluntary transfers to the Infantry 
had been recorded by The Adjutant General, including about 13,000 from 
sources outside the Ground Forces, of which 7,051 were from the Service Forces 
and 4,548 from the Air Forces. In addition, in this period 25,000 volunteers were 
obtained for the parachute troops, most of whom were infantrymen ; but 22,000 
of the 25,000 came from within the Ground Forces — most, it may be supposed, 
from the Infantry itself. 95 

Inactivation of AGF units, notably antiaircraft, and conversion of their 
personnel to other arms, notably Infantry, was of the greatest importance in 
meeting quantitative requirements in 1944 but probably made no significant 
change in quality of personnel in the receiving units, except, to some degree, in 
age. A survey of 65,000 enlisted men in antiaircraft battalions in the Army 
Ground Forces in November 1943 disclosed that, though they were somewhat 
younger, they were distributed by AGCT classes in about the same proportion 
as men in divisions at that time. 96 

Average age in certain divisions was further reduced by the sudden absolute 
prohibition, imposed in June 1944, of the sending of 18-year-olds overseas as 
infantry or armored replacements. Over 22,000 men in training at this time in 
infantry and armored replacement centers were due to be graduated before their 
nineteenth birthdays. The Army Ground Forces assigned them to seventeen 
divisions, since it was permissible for 18-year-olds to go overseas as members of 

** (i) Cir 132, WD, 6 Apr 44. (2) WD Gen Council Min (S), 8 May, 15 May, 5 Jun, 28 Aug 44. 

M AGF M/S, C&RD to G-i, 9 Jun 44, sub: Transfer to Inf. 220.3/220 (Inf Prog). 

"WD memo (R) AGPEA 220.3 (" Oct 44), TAG for G-i, 11 Oct 44, sub: Voluntary Transfer and 
Asgmt of EM to Inf and Prcht Units. 220.3/106 (Inf) (R). 

" See tables in 327.3/7 (sep file) (S). 



organized units, and some would in any case be nineteen by the time their divi- 
sions were shipped. The seventeen divisions supplied 22,000 older men to overseas 
replacement depots to fill the gap created in the replacement stream. 97 Some of 
these "older men" were no doubt recently converted ASTP students, aviation 
cadets, or antiaircraft personnel with a minimum of infantry training. Infantry 
personnel of divisions shipped during most of 1944 had been almost completely 
renewed since the beginning of the year. In the last nine infantry divisions sent 
to the European Theater (those sent after October 1944) on ^Y a quarter of the 
enlisted men in the infantry regiments had been in the regiments since the pre- 
ceding January. 98 Slightly less than a quarter had been ASTP students or aviation 
cadets. Slightly more than a quarter had been converted from other arms, mainly 
antiaircraft. Roughly the remaining quarter were recent graduates of the infantry 
replacement training centers, that is, men with only a little over four months' 
service in the Army. Experience of the latter three groups in their regiments 
ranged from five or six months down to a few days. Thus the divisions and their 
component infantry regiments were imperfectly trained according to the stand- 
ards of the Army Ground Forces. But in the quality of individual infantrymen — 
in youth, intelligence, and physical vigor — they were better than most divisions 
shipped before the middle of 1944. 

In addition to ASTP personnel and aviation cadets, the Army Ground Forces 
looked upon the enlisted men qualified for overseas duty who were serving in 
fixed installations in the Zone of Interior as a source to improve the quality of the 
combat arms. "Qualified for overseas duty" meant men who were qualified 
physically, were under thirty-five, had not served overseas since December 1941, 
and had been assigned to a fixed installation for over a year. At a time when the 
demand for combat troops was increasingly critical, with combat units being 
stripped for replacements and with the War Department concerned over the 
use of 18-year-olds and pre-Pearl Harbor fathers as infantry riflemen, some 
600,000 able-bodied soldiers, enough for two or three field armies, were occupy- 
ing jobs in overhead organizations which would never take them outside the 
United States. About 42,000 were in the Ground Forces, 158,000 in the Service 
Forces, and 400,000 in the Air Forces. 99 

On 14 January 1944, by an "Immediate Action" letter, the War Department 
directed that these men be reassigned, "as rapidly as practicable and in any event 

" AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 20 Jul 44, sub: Asgmt of 18-year-old 1RTC Graduates. 341/208 (R). 

" AGF memo (S) for OPD, 19 Oct 44, sub: Pers Status of Certain Divs. 320.2/760 (S). 

"Statistical Summary, Col r, Rpt dated 18 Mar 44, as of 29 Feb 44, WD Gen Council Min (S), 14 Aug 44. 



by 30 June 1944," to activities in which overseas duty was intended. 100 They were 
to be replaced in the Zone of Interior by civilians, WAC's, over-age enlisted men, 
physically inferior enlisted men, or enlisted men who had already served overseas. 
The deadline was later moved back to 31 October 1944, then abandoned alto- 
gether. 101 Men who could not be properly reassigned within their own major 
force were to be reported to The Adjutant General for disposition. On 20 January 
1944, in discussing the 1944 Troop Basis, G-3 of the War Department announced 
that, "for both quantitative and qualifkative reasons," extensive transfers of 
manpower among the major forces could be expected. 102 

The directive of 14 January was successfully carried out in the Ground 
Forces and the Service Forces. Trainer personnel at AGF schools and replace- 
ment centers, a form of overhead to which general-service men had formerly 
been assigned on the principle that they should be capable of rotation into tactical 
units, were now obtained from men not qualified for overseas service, including 
men who had seen overseas service already and whose presence as instructors 
was in any case thought to be desirable for that reason. Men not qualified for 
overseas service had been assigned to administrative overhead ever since August 
1942. This process was speeded up and completed in 1944. By October 1944 
virtually all the 42,000 qualified enlisted men in AGF Zone of Interior positions 
had been transferred to the field forces. 103 

The Army Air Forces found it more difficult to comply with the War 
Department directive. About a third of the strength of the Air Forces was in 
fixed installations in the Zone of Interior. 104 Since the beginning of mobilization 
no attempt had been made to assign physically limited men to the Air Forces in 
proportion to the requirements of the Air Forces for Zone of Interior personnel. 

100 (1) WD ltr (C) AG 320.3 (14 Jan 44) OB-C-A to CG AGF, 14 Jan 44, sub: EM — Utilization of 
Manpower Based on Physical Capacity. (2) WD ltr (C) AG 331. 1 (21 Dec 43) OB-S-A, 5 Jan 44, sub as in 
(l). Bothin327.3/ioi (LS)(C). (3) Cir 100, WD, 9 Mar 44. 

101 ( 1 ) WD ltr AG 220.3 (2 Oct 44) OC-E-WDGAP-MP-M to CGs AGF, ASF, and MDW, sub: EM — 
Utilization of Manpower Based on Physical Capacity. 220.3/305 (LD). (2) Papers in 320.2 (O'seas Repls 

1M WD memo (S) WDGCT 310 TB (30 Dec 43) for CofS USA, 20 Jan 44, sub: Implementation of 
1944 TB. 310.2/8 (TUB 44) (S). 

"° (1) AGF 1st ind to CGs, 20 Jan 44, on WD ltr of 14 Jan cited in n. 100 (1). 220.3/305 (LD). (2) 
AGF ltr to CGs, 13 Apr 44, sub: Utilization and Conservation of Manpower. 220.3/357 (LD). (3) AGF ltr 
to CGs, 26 Aug 44, sub: EM — Utilization of Manpower Based on Physical Capacity. 220.3/552 (LD). (4) 
AGF ist ind, 11 Oct 44, on WD ltr AGO B-C-A 220.3 (3 Oct 44) to CG AGF, 6 Oct 44, sub and location 
as in (3). 

101 "Army Strength Remaining in U. S. when Overseas Deployment is Complete," App "C" (Clear) , 
WD Gen Council Min (S), 30 Oct 44. 



The number of physically limited men in the Air Forces in 1944, even when 
supplemented by men returned from overseas, was not sufficient to fill AAF Zone 
of Interior positions. The replacement of qualified men in such positions by an 
equal number of other men presented a staggering problem of reassignment and 
retraining. On 31 August 1944 there were still in AAF overhead positions 395,595 
enlisted men qualified for overseas service — about 95 percent of all qualified men 
remaining in overhead positions in the United States. 105 

Noting the failure of the Air Forces to comply with the directive of 14 Janu- 
ary, the War Department in September 1944 ordered that the Army Ground 
Forces, in each month from October to December inclusive, make available to 
the Army Air Forces 5,000 men not qualified for overseas service, receiving in 
return an equal number of men who were so qualified. 106 As far as was feasible 
the Army Ground Forces exchanged men who were equal in AGCT scores and 
attempted to supply men with SSN's usable by the Air Forces. 107 The advantage 
to be gained by the Army Ground Forces was in physical quality. 

On 30 October the War Department took a more drastic step by ordering 
the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Forces each to transfer to the Army 
Ground Forces 25,000 enlisted men qualified for overseas duty. 108 This step, 
resulting from the increasingly critical shortage of men qualified for infantry 
duty, initiated an extensive process of transfer among the major commands that 
continued until the end of the war in Europe. Between October 1944 and May 
1945 the Army Ground Forces received approximately 100,000 men from other 
Zone of Interior sources, almost all of whom were assigned to infantry advanced 
replacement training centers (IARTC's) for retraining as combat soldiers. The 
Air Forces supplied about 60,000 of these men, the Service Forces 28,000, and 
other Zone of Interior sources i2,5O0. 109 

Although all the men transferred to the Army Ground Forces were supposed 
to be qualified for infantry training — at least 90 percent were to be Profile A 

"* WD Gen Council Min (S), 9 Oct 44. 

10 *(i) WD memo (R) WDGAP 220.33 for DCofS USA, 19 Sep 44, sub: Transfer of EM Physically 
Disqualified for O'seas. (2) WD D/F (R) WDGAP 220.03 to AGF, AAF, 12 Sep 44, sub: Transfer of EM. 
Both in 220.3/143 (R). 

ln See papers in 220.3/143 (R). 

"•(0 WD memo (S) WDGCT 220 (30 Oct 44) to CG AAF, 30 Oct 44, sub: Transfer of EM, as 
tmended 23 Nov 44. (2) WD memo WDGCT 320 (RTC) (30 Oct 44) for CG AGF, 30 Oct 44, sub: 
Capacity of RTCs. Both in 220.01/5 (S). 

"* Statistics compiled from weekly report, "Analysis of Profiles and AGCT of EM received at AGF 
IARTC's from AAF, ASF and DCs," in 220.33 (Trans between Services), binders 1 and 2. 



men — many of those shipped to IARTC's were not so qualified. Training centers 
actually received about 82 percent of Profile A men, and only about 90,000 of the 
total number received could be retrained as infantry. On the other hand, the men 
transferred into the Ground Forces were both physically and mentally superior 
to those being assigned to the Ground Forces by reception centers during this 
same period, as shown in the following tabulation: 110 

Accession of Enlisted Men by Army Ground Forces, January-April 1945 

Percentage Distribution by 
Percentage AGCT Classes 

Number in Profile A 1-11 111 1V-V 

Transferred to AGF 
from Other ZI Sources 

(31 Dec 44-5 May 45) 65,010 85.0 32.5 34.5 33.0 
Assigned to AGF by 
Reception Centers 

(1 Jan-30 Apr 45) 261,426 74.5 26.5 35.0 38.5 

The transfer of men into the Army Ground Forces materially improved, 
therefore, the over-all quality of the manpower available to it in the winter and 
spring of 1944-45. 

In exchange for the physically qualified men received from other Zone of 
Interior sources, the Army Ground Forces transferred to the Air and Service 
Forces a considerable number of men of low physical quality who could not be 
used for overseas duty. These transfers began in October 1944 and continued 
into the following summer. In the first four months of 1945 the Ground Forces 
transferred about 22,500 such men to the Air Forces and about 17,500 to the 
Service Forces. 111 These transfers likewise tended to raise the average quality of 
AGF troops by subtracting a sizable portion of the physically unqualified men 
from their number. 

The large-scale transfers of physically qualified men into the Ground Forces 
in the winter and spring of 1944-45 helped to meet the shortage of infantry 
trainees as well as to improve the over-all quality of ground combat troops. By 
V-E Day the infantry crisis had abated, and the process of transfer among the 
major commands was reversed. The receipt of AAF and ASF men at IARTC's 
had practically ceased by April, and in early May the War Department ordered 

m (1) Ibid. (2) Annual Report, 1945 (R), C&RD, AGF. 
m Annual Report, 1945 (R), C&RD, AGF. 



the Army Ground Forces to transfer to the Army Service Forces 12,500 partially 
trained infantrymen in order to meet shortages in ASF units that were to be sent 
overseas. 112 

The transfer of 100,000 men to the Ground Forces marked the climax of a 
process that had been going on since the beginning of 1944. To the end of 1943, 
the need for technical and flying personnel took priority in the assignment of 
manpower over the need for ground combat soldiers. Priorities were reversed in 
1944. The need for combat soldiers, especially infantrymen, first assumed priority 
over the Army Specialized Training Program, the most easily dispensable large 
item in the Troop Basis. Then it took priority over the desirability of a large 
reserve of aviation cadets. In receiving ASTP students and aviation cadets the 
Ground Forces for the most part only received back men formerly lost — men 
withdrawn from training as ground combat soldiers in the days when college 
training and flying training were judged to be of higher priority. When the 
recruiting of aviation cadets in AGF organizations was discontinued, and the 
program of encouraging volunteering for the infantry was adopted, the benefits 
of voluntary interbranch transfer were withdrawn from the Air Corps and con- 
ferred on the Infantry. Nonvoluntary transfer to positions of higher combat 
value was first applied within the Army Ground Forces, notably in the con- 
version of antiaircraft personnel to infantry. In the fall of 1944 the process of 
transfer was extended to affect the other two major commands. 

In all, the Army Ground Forces received about 200,000 enlisted men from 
other elements of the Army during 1944 and 1945, most of whom were of a 
comparatively high type both physically and mentally. These transfers were a 
recognition of the fact that the war had reached a phase in which, with the bulk 
of the Army overseas, the need for maintenance troops in the United States had 
diminished and the provision of qualified battle replacements had become a 
major concern of the War Department. The effect was to improve considerably 
the quality of the manpower available to the ground combat arms in the last 
year of World War II. 

In retrospect, the experience of the Army Ground Forces with the quality 
of its personnel during the war pointed to basic shortcomings in the provisions 
for allocating the Nation's manpower, not only within the Army itself, but also 
among the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. The fact that, within the Army, 
the men assigned to the ground combat arms after February 1942 were below 

m (1) WD memo (R) SPGAG/220.3 Gen (9 May 45>-357 for CG AGF, 10 May 45, sub: Transfer of 
EM to ASF. (2) AGF ltr (R) to CG R&SC, 10 May 45, sub: Transfer of Inf EM to ASF. Both in 320.2 (ASF). 



the average established by the Army General Classification Test is undeniable. 
Opinions will differ as to what facts had a decisive influence in producing this 
result. Some will argue that the absence of accurate tests indicative of combat 
aptitude and of the qualities of leadership was responsible. Others will emphasize 
the need for rapid mobilization, which put a premium on previous occupational 
experience in forming the Army, or will stress the decision, based on the strategic 
situation in the early years of the war, to assign preference to the Army Air 
Forces. Still others will find an explanation of the predicament of the Ground 
Forces in measures which permitted or forced the transfer of high-quality ground 
combat personnel to the Air and Service Forces and the Army Specialized Train- 
ing Program and which did not provide for prompt return to the Ground Forces 
of men who failed to qualify for their new jobs. 

The Army Ground Forces naturally protested against the diversion of high- 
quality personnel from ground combat assignments and pointed out the resulting 
effects on its efficiency in performing its mission. Its protests echoed, from the 
first, two of General McNair's deepest convictions regarding the conduct of war. 
One was that, in spite of peacetime impressions to the contrary, the United States 
did not have unlimited resources of high-caliber manpower with which to fight 
the enemy, and therefore that maximum economy and concentration on combat 
effectiveness would be necessary to win the war. The other was that, large as was 
the part which machines on the ground and in the air might be expected to play, 
the contact of fighting men with the enemy on the battlefield would be a decisive 
factor. Both of these views were verified by experience. 

Remedies for the situation mentioned above were sought and applied. The 
one most effective in raising the quality of the Ground Forces was the wholesale 
restoration or transfer of large numbers of men from the ASTP and the Air and 
Service Forces in 1944 and 1945, made necessary by quantitative shortages in the 
Ground Forces which had reached critical proportions. But by February 1944, 
when large transfusions of high-quality men from other commands began, 
nearly half the divisions had been shipped overseas; the men who had been 
received by the Ground Forces during the period of mobilization had been built 
into the structure, and this had conditioned the training of all divisions activated 
since the outbreak of the war. The retraining of the divisions that did receive new 
men in 1944 had to be hasty and fell below the standards of the training program, 
so that the qualitative improvement did not result in a proportionate increase of 
combat efficiency. Another remedy tried was the Infantry Program, which gave 
infantrymen in combat somewhat better pay and a badge which became a coveted 



honor. Another was the Physical Profile system. Although it was adopted too late 
and administered too loosely to produce decisive results, it pointed out a direction 
in which a solution for the problem of pre-selecting men suitable to the needs of 
the Ground Forces might be found. A solution for the problem of assigning to the 
Ground Forces men with adequate combat qualifications will continue to be a 
matter for national concern until ground combat can safely be eliminated from 
calculations in regard to war. 

The Procurement of Officers 


Robert R. Palmer and William R. Keast 





The Officer Shortage of 1942 104 

The Officer Surplus of jg4j and the Control of OCS Production 110 

Liquidation of the Antiaircraft Surplus 120 

The Reclassification of Officers 123 


Redistribution within the Ground Arms 133 

The Procurement Situation in Early 1944 136 

Officer Candidate Quotas, February-June 1944 139 

The Search for Candidates, June-December 1944 145 

Procurement in 194; 152 



So. P"i» 

1. Number of Candidates in AGF Officer Candidate Schools, 1942-45 . . . 105 

2. Graduation of Officer Candidates from AGF Service Schools, 1941-45 • . 106 

3. Authorized Monthly Quotas of AGF Officer Candidate Schools, 1943-45 113 

4. Enrollment of Officers of Other Branches in Officers' Special Basic Course, 

Infantry School, 1944 135 

5. Distribution of Infantry OCS Quotas Among Major Categories, June 1944- 

February 1945 147 

6. Overseas Shipments of AGF Officer Replacements, September 1943-August 

1945 153 

7. Overseas Appointments of Male Officers, September 1942-Junc 1945 • • ■ 154 

I. General Requirements and 

The proper training and effectiveness of enlisted men in combat depend on 
the competence and personal qualities of the officers commissioned to train and 
lead them. In all modern armies the majority of officers as well as of enlisted 
men have to be procured in time of war from the eligible civilian population and 
trained partially or completely for military duty after mobilization begins. In the 
United States this task is especially difficult because of the relatively small profes- 
sional Army and the perennial minimization of the Military Establishment in 
times of peace. When the Army began to mobilize in 1940 it had only 14,000 
professional officers. This number could not be increased materially during the 
war, though some officers who had resigned or retired from the Regular Army 
could be recalled to active duty, and graduations at the U.S. Military Academy 
were speeded up. The vast majority of the officers required in all branches for the 
multifarious tasks of planning, mobilization, training, administration, and com- 
bat of the Army, rapidly expanding to a mass of 8,300,000 men and women, had 
to be drawn from three sources: from those who had received some training in 
peacetime military agencies — the National Guard, the Officers' Reserve Corps, 
the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and the Citizens' Military Training Camps; 
from the limited group of civilians whose technical or administrative skills could 
be used without military training; and from the officer candidate schools created 
in 1941 to convert eligible enlisted men into officers. 

The situation in 1941 was better than in 1917. A backlog of ROTC officers 
had been trained in peacetime. Thanks to improved training in the National 
Guard and to the efficiency of the service schools of the Army between the two 
wars, many of the nonprofessional officers available had had a preparation which 
conformed more closely than in 1917 to professional military standards. But the 
demands of World War II were greater both in complexity and magnitude, and 
the task of procuring suitable officers in the numbers required was a huge one. 
By the end of 1943, when mobilization was nearly complete, about 19,000 officers 
of the National Guard were in the Federal service. Some 180,000 had been drawn 
from the Officers' Reserve Corps. Almost 100,000 civilians had been com- 

9 2 


missioned directly, 1 somewhat less than half as doctors, dentists, and chaplains, 
the remainder for technical and administrative positions. The largest number of 
new officers, approximately 300,000 by that time, had been commissioned after 
graduation from officer candidate schools or as aviation cadets. Altogether about 
600,000 ex-civilians were serving as Army officers, according to plans laid and 
standards set by the small nucleus of the Regular Army. The 15,000 Regular 
Army officers were outnumbered in the ratio of about 40 to 1 by officers drawn 
from civilian sources since the beginning of the war. 

In the period of mobilization preceding Pearl Harbor the non-Regular offi- 
cers needed had been drawn chiefly from the "civilian components" of the Army, 
18,000 from the National Guard and 80,000 from the Officers' Reserve Corps. 
Of the latter most were ROTC graduates who had continued their military 
studies and training since graduation from college. The officer candidate schools, 
established in July 1941, had by December 1941 produced only a few hundred 
lieutenants in each branch. 2 The further training of National Guard and Reserve 
officers, and the elimination of the more obviously unsuitable, were two of the 
advantages gained by prewar mobilization. With the outbreak of war and the 
rapid expansion of the Army the need for additional officers mounted sharply, 
and it was found that the readiness for combat of those already in service still left 
much to be desired. In February 1942, Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, shortly before 
assuming command of the Army Ground Forces, stated his view of the situation 
in an address to a graduating class at the Command and General Staff School. He 
was reviewing the military training of the preceding year and a half, accom- 
plished under his supervision as Chief of Staff of General Headquarters. He 
observed that this training had not yet produced first-class combat troops. Officers 
from the civilian components, instead of being immediately ready to assist in 
the task of converting a mass of civilians into soldiers, had themselves required 
a long period of further training. "The outstanding generalization of this experi- 
ence, in my view," General McNair said, "is that we did not have in fact the great 
mass of trained officers that were carried on the books. . . . We have verified the 
inevitable — that inadequately trained officers cannot train troops effectively." 3 

'That it, without training; but about 12,000 were former officers, most o£ them with World War I 

'Status of Personnel, Army of the United States, Statistics Branch, WDGS, 15 Dec 43, gives officer 
strength by components at intervals from 30 Jun 40. 320.2/351 (C). 

* Mimeographed copy of speech in "Addresses delivered by Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair." Army War 
College Library, VA25 Mi 6. 



In officer procurement the Army Ground Forces enjoyed certain advantages 
over the other major commands. Numerical requirements were proportionately 
lower in the Ground Forces, which according to the 1944 Troop Basis required 
only 54 officers for each 1,000 enlisted men, whereas the Service Forces required 
97 and the Air Forces 156. 4 Since the expansion of the Ground Forces, great as it 
was, was not as great as that of the Air and Service Forces, the proportion of 
Regular Army officers remained somewhat higher in the ground arms than in 
the rest of the Army. 5 It was also of advantage to the Ground Forces that a high 
proportion of National Guard and Reserve officers had received their peacetime 
training in the traditional ground arms. These officers, when tested and sifted by 
experience, constituted a source from which competent leaders in the field grades 
could be developed. 

On the other hand, the Army Ground Forces also faced peculiar difficulties 
in obtaining officers qualified to meet its requirements. The paramount require- 
ment for officers in the ground arms was capacity to lead men in battle. Adminis- 
trative positions had to be filled, but, because emergencies of battle might require 
one officer to step into the place of another, General McNair adhered strictly to 
the Army's policy of rotating officers between staff and command positions and 
between headquarters and the field. The specialization of ground officers beyond 
a certain point was regarded as undesirable, and the Army Ground Forces 
developed no class of administrative officers as such. 8 Specialties of civilian life, 
a common basis of commissions in the Army Service Forces, were of little value 
to a ground combat commander. Again, individual daring and personal skill, 
emphasized as necessary qualifications of flying officers of the Air Forces, did not 
suffice to meet the needs of ground combat. In officers of the ground arms these 
qualities had to be combined with ability to direct the performance of enlisted 
men and to cooperate with the plans of other officers amid the hazards and 
uncertainties of battle. The necessary qualities were summed up by the Army 
Ground Forces in the ideas of responsibility and leadership. 

Emphasis on responsibility and troop leadership shaped the policies of the 
Army Ground Forces in procuring and training officers. In training, this meant 

'The figures, according to the Troop Basis of I April 1944, were as follows: Ground Forces, 168,307; 
Air Forces, 313,448; Service Forces, 143,215. 

c As of 31 December 1943, 3.5 percent of the AGF officers were Regular Army, as against 2.6 percent 
of the ASF and 1.4 percent of the AAF officers. 

"See AGF memo for CofS USA, 3 Nov 43, sub: Inclusion of MOS Serial Numbers for Offs on T/Os. 
110.01/286. AGF officers "are not specialists but are qualified to perform any duty within their arm com- 
mensurate with their grade." 



keeping officers as much as possible with troops rather than on detached service 
or in Army schools. In procurement, it meant that very few appointments could 
be made directly from civilian life and that officers from the "civilian com- 
ponents" of the Army, the National Guard, and the Reserve Corps, and even 
those from the Regular Army, had to be carefully screened, especially for posts 
of higher command. 

During the period of officer shortage in 1942 Army Ground Forces com- 
missioned a few men directly from civilian life, but only for certain signal and 
ordnance units. This was accomplished by a process of affiliation in which a 
group of employees of an industrial concern were organized bodily as a military 
unit, the higher employees in the civilian group becoming officers in the military 
unit. The relation of officers and enlisted men under this system did not prove 
altogether satisfactory. Direct commissioning of civilians for other purposes was 
negligible in the Ground Forces. 

By the summer of 1942, National Guard officers and many Reserve officers 
had been on active duty for over a year. A general weeding out had followed the 
GHQ maneuvers of 1941. Regimental commanders and officers for general staff 
work were needed in increasing numbers in 1942 to meet the activation program. 
On 16 July Army Ground Forces, observing that such key positions could now 
be filled by many officers of the Reserve components, directed subordinate com- 
manders to submit lists of names of individuals believed to be qualified. 7 From 
these lists, appointments were made to new units and to headquarters staffs. 

At the height of the officer shortage in the summer of 1942 many requests 
reached the War Department to expand the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. 
ROTC students constituted a deferred class under Selective Service and in 1942 
they remained in the colleges. Army Ground Forces did not favor an increase in 
the number of students held in colleges, preferring that they be inducted into 
the Army and selected for officer candidate schools. The reason for this preference 
was in part the immediate need for a large supply of potential officer material. 
But the value as well as the timing of the product was considered. Graduates of 
the officer candidate schools had greater immediate value as platoon leaders than 
did recent graduates of the ROTC. After several months' service OCS graduates 
with similar education were found to be more valuable than recent products of 
the ROTC. "The three months of intensive training undergone in an officer 
candidate school under war conditions," Army Ground Forces notified the War 

' AGF ltr (C) to CGs, 16 Jul 42, sub: Rpt on Qualification of Ofls. 201.6/4 (C). Lists submitted from 
the field are in this file and in clear file 



Department, "is far superior to the full ROTC course." Army Ground Forces 
advised against expansion of the ROTC, and no expansion took place. 8 Instead, 
beginning in the summer of 1942, men who had not completed the full ROTC 
course before leaving college were, upon induction into the Army, assigned to 
officer candidate schools and given the regular OCS course. 

Late in 1942 the War Department initiated plans for sending selected 
enlisted men to civilian colleges. At first this Army Specialized Training Pro- 
gram (ASTP) was thought of as a source of commissioned personnel. General 
McNair opposed it. It threatened, by diverting the ablest young men to the cam- 
puses, to keep them out of officer candidate schools at a time when officer candi- 
dates were urgently needed and difficult to procure. It was feared also that the 
most intelligent youth of the country, if educated at college in technical special- 
ties, would be lost to the ground arms as combat leaders. General McNair 
believed that the Army possessed a sufficient backlog of college men to last 
through 1944. 9 Launched late in 1942 over the opposition of Army Ground 
Forces, the ASTP was virtually dissolved early in 1944. By that time the demand 
for new officers had almost ceased. Large numbers of ASTP trainees who might 
have become graduates of officer candidate schools remained enlisted men. 

The officer candidate schools were established in July 1941 in accordance 
with plans written into Mobilization Regulations. They took the place of the 
officer training camps of World War I, but with the distinctive feature that 
candidates were restricted to warrant officers and enlisted men who had had 
a minimum of from four to six months of service at the date of admission. 10 The 
basic aim was to substitute a competitive and democratic system of procurement 
for the rather haphazard selection of young officers from a social and intellectual 
elite which had appeared necessary, for lack of a better means, in World War I. 
The Army Ground Forces profited immensely from the operation of these 
schools. It valued them highly as a means of procuring and training the type of 
junior officers it needed. They became by far the largest source of its commis- 

* AGF memo for G-3 WD, 20 Jul 42, sub: Study on Expansion of ROTC. 326.6/64. 

" AGF memo (S) for CG SOS, 4 Oct 42, sub: The Army College Tag Prog. 353 / 1 1 9 (S) . 

10 (1) Four months for replacement trainees, six for other enlisted men. (2) Activation was initiated 
by WD memo G-3/25445 for the CofS, 19 Sep 40, sub: Officer Candidate Schs. AGO Records, AG 352 
(9-19-40) (1) Sec 1, Part 1. (3) Basic plans are in MR 1-4 and 3-1. (4) The basic letter directing their 
activation is WD ltr 352 (4-10-41) MM-C, 26 Apr 41, sub: Officer Candidate Schools. (5) While the 
great majority of officer candidates in the ground arms were selected from the ranks, from 1942 onward they 
also trained ROTC men and Volunteer Officer Candidates who had been selected for officer training before 
induction into the Army. 

9 6 


sioned personnel. By the end of 1943, with mobilization almost complete, nearly 
114,000 officers had been graduated from the officer candidate schools of the Army 
Ground Forces. They constituted about two-thirds of all officers serving in the 
ground arms. In the grades of captain and lieutenant the proportion of officer 
candidate school graduates was considerably higher than two-thirds. By the end 
of the war in the Pacific, more than 136,000 officers had been graduated from the 
AGF officer candidate schools. (See Table No. 2.) The officer problem in the 
Army Ground Forces was essentially a problem of procurement and training of 
officer candidates. 

Every large AGF organization became a mosaic of officers from various 
sources. The higher echelons had the highest proportion from the Regular Army. 
At AGF headquarters, as of 31 December 1943, 48 percent of the commissioned 
personnel were Regular Army, 11 and until early 1944 no officer above lieutenant 
colonel belonged to the civilian components. 12 In divisions the proportion of 
Regulars averaged under 5 percent; the 31st Division, originally National Guard, 
contained less than 1 percent, with only five Regular Army officers assigned to 
it. 13 In regiments, OCS graduates outnumbered all others. One regimental com- 
mander, in a letter to a friend who had been designated to command a regiment 
in a new division, described the officer texture of a typical infantry regiment in 
1943 as follows: 14 

You will find your officer cadre something like this: Your executive officer probably 
a regular officer of the class of 1924 to '27, probably one regular battalion commander, 
one reserve officer and one National Guard. Probably two-thirds of your company com- 
manders will be graduates of officer candidate schools, the remaining one-third will be 
principally National Guard and only a few reserve. My executive and I are at present the 
only two Regular Army officers in this regiment. I am the only graduate of West Point 
in this regiment .... [About 150 second lieutenants, the colonel explained, would be fresh 
out of officer candidate school.] Let me say a word about these OCS people in case you 
have not had any contact with them. They are far in the way the best that I have seen in 
the Army, and for the job they have to do I had just as soon have them as any graduate of 
the Military Academy joining his first regiment. They are well grounded, interested in 
their job, industrious, ambitious, and on the ball twenty-four hours a day. Since November 1, 

u Hq AGF, Strength Report, Officers, 31 Dec 43. AGF AG Sec. 

"Lieutenant Colonels V. A. St. Onge, J. H. Banville, and A. L. Harding, all ORC, were promoted to 
colonel on 22 January 1944. They were respectively, Chief of the Task Force Division, G—4; Chief of the 
Classification and Replacement Division, AG; and Chief of the Troop Movements Division, G— 3. 

"Status of Personnel, Army of the United States, Statistics Branch, WDGS, 15 Dec 43. 320.2/351 (C). 

11 Copy of personal ltr, 22 Mar 43, in confidential file, AGF G—i Sec. 



I have not had more than five cases which necessitated my taking disciplinary action, 
and of these five only one was a drinking case. They are much better behaved than any 
similar group of young men I have ever seen. 

The selection and promotion of higher commanders in the Ground Forces 
involved special problems, policies, and relationships which did not attend the 
commissioning and assignment of junior officers and those in the lower field 
grades. All Army officers were officially commissioned and all officers in the 
higher grades were promoted by authority of The Adjutant General, acting as 
agent of the War Department. The commanders of newly activated regiments 
and groups in the Army Ground Forces were assigned on designation of the 
Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces. For a time General McNair 
delegated authority to assign officers up to and including the grade of colonel to 
his subordinate commanders. In August 1943 Army Ground Forces, to prevent 
the transfer of regimental and group commanders to staff work, as well as to 
avoid needless turnover and to extend the employment of officers returning from 
combat, assumed direct control over the assignment of colonels. 15 Army and 
corps commanders had shown an inclination to transfer the ablest colonels to 
their staffs, but General McNair believed strongly in the principle that the most 
vigorous and effective officers should occupy positions of command. 

Gen. George C. Marshall, with the advice of his G-i, designated the general 
officers who were to command the largest ground force units — armies, corps, and 
divisions. The War Department also controlled promotions to general-officer 
grades. These were of special importance to the Army Ground Forces since until 
well into 1944 the number of general officers under its supervision was consider- 
ably larger than that in any other command of the Army. On 31 July 1943 the 
Army Ground Forces had 298 general officers, including 2 lieutenant generals 
(commanding the Second and Third Armies), almost 100 major generals, and 
over 200 brigadier generals, the total constituting nearly 30 percent of the general 
officers in the U.S. Army. The number subsequently declined as troops moved 
overseas. 18 In both the promotion of generals and their assignment to ground 
commands General McNair exercised a very considerable influence. 

In the field of promotion to general-officer grades, General McNair was 
called upon, as commander of the Army Ground Forces, to advise regarding such 

a (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 8 Oct 42, sub: Asgmt and Reasgmtof Individual Offs and Warrant Offs. (2) 
AGF M/S, CofS to G-i, J7 Aug 43, sub: Use of Regtl Gomdrs on Corps or Army Staff. (3) AGF ltr to 
CGs, 29 Aug 43, sub: Asgmt of Offs. All in 210.31/3648. 

"Monthly Strength of the Army, 31 Jul 43. AGO Machine Records Branch. 320.2 (C). 



promotions even in theaters of operations. It was important to maintain stand- 
ards of promotion which were uniform as between ground commanders overseas 
and those at home who would presently go overseas in turn, both in order to 
maintain morale and to assure the placing of the best men available in important 
positions. Generals had to be interchangeable as between the Zone of Interior and 
theaters. Under the policy of using battle-experienced officers in training, many 
officers were brought back from theaters to the United States, where, if their 
experience had been in the ground arms, General McNair had to find posts for 
them commensurate with their rank. In the spring of 1943 General Marshall 
suggested to him that he dispatch a deputy to coordinate promotions overseas 
with those at home, thus extending an influence which General McNair evidently 
felt constrained to use sparingly. General Marshall wrote: "While your responsi- 
bility is technically confined to the continental United States outside the Coast 
Defense Commands, I want you to feel a responsibility to me regarding the entire 
field of Ground Force promotions. While G-i keeps the check on this for me, 
your knowledge is more intimate in most cases." 17 General McNair preferred 
not to send a deputy into the theaters but to adhere to the existing procedure by 
which G-i of the War Department General Staff sought the opinion of General 
McNair on the recommendations of theater commanders for promotions to 
general-officer grades. 

By this system, common standards were maintained through G-i of the 
War Department General Staff, which submitted to General McNair the recom- 
mendations of theater commanders for promotions to the general-officer grades. 
Sometimes, at least until the middle of 1943, when the need for additional gener- 
als rather suddenly declined (owing to previous promotions, Troop Basis reduc- 
tions, and reorganization in the armored divisions), General McNair requested 
G-i of the War Department to ask theater commanders for recommendations. 
Comparing the records of overseas officers with the records of officers under his 
own command, General McNair made recommendations as to whether the 
overseas officers, if they were in the Ground Forces, should be considered for 
promotion. His answer was frequently negative. "Age" (meaning older than 
about fifty for promotion to brigadier general) and "not sufficiently outstanding" 
were the most common reasons given for disapproval. 18 

In the field of assignments and promotions in the Ground Forces at home 

" Memo (S) of Gen Marshall for Gen McNair, 29 Mar 43. 322.98/82 (S). 
u Various cases appear in the AGF "commander files." 322.98 (S). 



General McNair's recommendations normally prevailed. They were almost 
invariably decisive in the choice of division commanders. In all instances except 
two, suggestions for division command originated with General McNair ; in only 
one instance did the War Department turn down a nominee of General McNair 
for division command, and this officer subsequently was given a division which 
he led with distinction in the European Theater. 19 

Because of these responsibilities, it was continuously necessary for General 
McNair to evaluate the performance of general officers, to keep in mind colonels 
best suited for promotion, to estimate the maximum future potentialities of 
officers known or described to him, and to watch and constantly reappraise the 
performance of men in positions which they already occupied. The responsibility 
was the greater since it was an accepted principle that a commander who carried 
a unit through its training should also lead it into battle. The effect of all training 
policies and directives depended on the force and intelligence of the commanders 
who carried them out. The quality of combat leadership down the whole chain 
of command depended, not on regulations and orders, but on the moral courage 
of commanders in eliminating ineffectual or unreliable subordinates, and on their 
discernment in finding the best men to replace them. It was an enormous waste 
and risk to appoint as a division commander a man who could not do the job, for 
not only was time lost in making the division ready to fight, but the limited 
opportunity for future battle commanders to gain experience in handling large 
units was misspent. 

In choosing higher commanders General McNair relied mainly on a close 
study of their records. He attached great weight to General Efficiency Ratings, 
since they consolidated the judgments of all commanders under whom an officer 
had served during the preceding ten years. Only an officer with a high General 
Efficiency Rating — if possible above 6.5, rarely below 6.0 — would be considered. 
Other things being equal, and age being within acceptable limits, he gave 
preference to seniority on the promotion list, regarding seniority as a measure of 
experience. Noting especially the succession of assignments in which an officer 
had spent his military career, he demanded definite evidence of successful duty 
with troops. It was a great advantage that he knew personally, from years past, 
most of the men coming within range of consideration. 20 

" (1) Statement of Gen A. R. Bolting to AGF Hist Off, 4 Jul 44. (2) Information obtained from McNair 
Personal Correspondence. 

*° Consultation of Hist Off with CofS AGF, and documents in file 322.98 (S). 



Initial selection was only the beginning. Once appointed, high commanders 
remained under scrutiny of all higher echelons, including Army Ground Forces. 
If a commander failed to justify expectations, General McNair took the position 
that, once his shortcomings were verified, the sooner he was relieved the better, 
in order that his replacement might obtain a maximum of experience before 
facing the test of combat. At the same time caution had to be used against precipi- 
tate removals, not only to avoid injustice but also because the number of men 
qualified for high command was too small to permit waste. 

A few concrete cases will illustrate ways in which General McNair handled 
his responsibility for the quality of his higher commanders. 21 They reflect his 
ideas of the qualifications necessary for military leadership. 

The commander of a division was reported to have resorted to intimidation 
of enlisted men and to have upbraided and publicly humiliated his officers. 
Senior subordinates were seeking reassignment, and the whole division was 
reported to be restless and resentful. General McNair was in agreement with 
the corps commander that, while the general in question was rough in his 
methods, he was an able and valuable officer. He handled the matter unofficially, 
sending the division commander a short private homily on leadership: 

Methods of leadership, as we all know, vary widely. I hold to no one particular pro- 
cedure; the only criterion is the results obtained. However, I refuse flatly to believe that our 
officers today, especially those of the Regular Army, are unwilling to follow a division 
commander in his efforts to build a new division. If you have experienced difficulty along 
this line, I believe that the fault is yours in part. Either you are too impatient, considering 
conditions, or your methods are faulty. There is something wrong, I incline to believe, 
even though your objectives are above reproach .... My whole experience fixes my belief 
that the first essential of an efficient command is a happy one — the happiness, or content- 
ment, if you will, being based on confidence in the leadership and a realization that the 
leader's demands are just, reasonable, and necessary for victory in war. 

The commander in question remained with his division, which presently quieted 
down, and he led it effectively in combat. 

In another division an assistant commander made himself useless by exces- 
sive drinking. He was at times incoherent and unsteady, and was found by his 
subordinates to be unable to carry responsibility. The division commander long 
postponed action, but finally took steps resulting in his removal. The matter did 
not stop there. The division commander was himself removed. For allowing such 

n The following paragraphs are based upon documents in the McNair Correspondence and in AGF 
file 322.98 (S). 



a situation to develop so far, and for yielding to personal reluctance to hurt a 
brother officer, he was judged unsuited to command a division and was 
transferred to a nontactical post. 

A third division was commanded by a major general on whom General 
McNair had passed a favorable though not final judgment. After the division 
had been under AGF control for some months, the corps commander recom- 
mended the division commander's reclassification; the army commander con- 
curred. Army Ground Forces supported this recommendation, but General 
Marshall advised a period of waiting until, after longer service in the Army 
Ground Forces, the division commander's performance could be evaluated more 
fully. Five months later, after visiting the division, General McNair decided that 
the time had come to relieve the commander. He wrote to the War Department : 

This occasion, together with my previous observation of the officer, leads me to the 
conclusion that he is active, intelligent and intensely interested in his division. Doubtless 
he has the confidence of the mass of his troops, since he has served them devotedly. The 
fundamental difficulty, however, is that he has at best a restricted military horizon. He 
commands from his office. He seems incapable of training his division adequately, undoubt- 
edly because he has no proper standard of training in his mind, due to his deficient military 
background .... I am convinced that the present condition of the division reflects essentially 

General 's military ceiling, and it is too low, beyond all question. It would 

be utterly inexcusable to send 15,000 Americans into modern combat under such leadership. 

Within a few days the commander in question was replaced. 

The conviction of General McNair that every activity of a combat unit was 
a function of command, together with his adherence to strict accountability as 
the keystone of military organization, put a heavy strain on the energy and 
resourcefulness of his top commanders. He personally kept them aware of the 
weight of responsibility that goes with command. When informed that the com- 
mander of a unit that had been training for two years had asked for a G-2 to 
replace the one who had been given a new assignment, he wrote the commander 
a personal letter reading in part as follows : 

... it is inconceivable to me that a division with the experience of yours must be furnished 
a ready-made G-2. Also, I cannot for one minute understand why a division which is 
nearing its second anniversary should find it necessary to go outside for an experienced 
[subordinate] commander. If a . . . division cannot build its own . . . commanders, in my 
view, there is something sadly lacking. 

There is no better way to build leaders than the sort of training which you have had 
during the last two years. Now you are asking for additional experienced officers out of the 
14,000 with which we entered the war, in spite of the fact that the Army now has well 
over 600,000 officers. If you will ponder the broad situation you cannot but realize, I am 



sure, that these line big divisions must manufacture leaders, not only for their own use 
but for the higher echelons as well, since the latter do not have the troops with which to 

On the other hand, when a commander had, in his opinion, lived up to his 
heavy responsibilities, he bestowed praise in terms equally personal. To a National 
Guard officer who was about to take his division overseas he wrote: 

I was delighted, impressed, and touched by your letter of Monday. To you and to me 
it tells an inspiring story of sustained, untiring effort and outstanding achievement. In 
passing this remarkable paper to General Marshall, I have commented that if the . . . 
Division does not perform outstandingly in battle, I shall be forced to believe that there 
is no merit in training, or that the training of the Army Ground Forces has been all 
wrong .... It is all one more example of how a body of troops reflects the character and 
spirit of its commander. The . . . Division has a great commander, and I doubt not for a 
moment that no one realizes it better than the soldiers themselves. 

The main difference between officers of the junior field and company grades 
and higher-ranking officers in the Ground Forces was that the latter, because of 
age and profession, had spent years in preparing themselves for the demands of 
war. Their specific training for the leadership of units in battle, like that of other 
officers, had taken place in the units themselves. By supervising the training of 
his unit, administering its affairs, and employing it in maneuvers, a commander 
trained himself for his role in combat. General McNair insisted that the principle 
of keeping officers with troops applied to generals as well as to others. On a few 
occasions, in connection with very recently developed procedures, high com- 
manders were assembled for indoctrination. Such occasions were the demonstra- 
tions in 1942 of air-ground coordination at Fort Benning and of tank destroyer 
employment at Camp Hood. But as a rule General McNair frowned upon higher 
commanders taking trips which diverted them from their essential duties. The 
opening of operations in North Africa gave training commanders an inviting 
opportunity to make tours of observation. General McNair limited himself to 
one brief visit. When General Marshall asked whether it might be wise for 
division commanders, halfway through their divisional training periods, to see 
some combat operations in North Africa, General McNair replied that division 
commanders were needed with their divisions; he suggested that a few corps 
commanders go instead, especially since Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower wished to 
limit the number of visitors in his theater. 22 Four AGF corps commanders conse- 

" (1) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 27 Feb 43, sub: Obsr Tours O'seas for High Comdrs. 
322.98/77 (S). (2) On absence of general officers from units, see AGF Itr to CGs, 31 Jan 43, sub: Inter- 
ferences with Tng. 353.02/78 (AGF). 


quently made tours to North Africa in the spring of 1943. Later in the year Lt. 
Gen. Courtney H. Hodges, whose Third Army went overseas early in 1944, 
visited the battle zone in Italy. Maj. Gen. Harry F. Hazlett, commanding the 
Replacement and School Command, made a similar trip in February 1944. 

The practice developed early in 1943 of appointing officers with battle 
experience to the command of troops who were in training in the United States. 
Officers with successful experience overseas were appointed to the general-officer 
positions of new divisions. The cessation of divisional activations in August 1943 
terminated this practice. Officers were rotated between Army Ground Forces 
and the theaters. In the five months following 1 June 1943, Army Ground Forces 
released six major generals for overseas duty as individual replacements and 
received twelve major generals from overseas in return, of whom six were given 
command of divisions, one of a corps, and two of replacement training centers. 
In the same period Army Ground Forces released eight brigadier generals to 
theaters of operations and received ten in return. 28 

"Memo of Gen McNair for G-i WD, 22 Oct 43, sub: Battle Experienced High Comdrs. 310.311/524. 

II. Procurement During the 
Period of Mobilization, 

I 94 2 -"43 

When the Army Ground Forces was established on 9 March 1942, it took 
over from the old chiefs of the ground combat arms the responsibility for the 
training of officer candidates. Since July 1941, when the officer candidate schools 
had begun to function, the number of candidates to be admitted had been deter- 
mined by the War Department. No change in this arrangement was made with 
the establishment of Army Ground Forces; for another year, until March 1943, 
control over the size of OCS operations remained with the War Department. 
Although Army Ground Forces took over the personnel functions formerly 
performed in the offices of the Chiefs of Infantry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, 
and Cavalry, specific exception was made of functions relating to the procure- 
ment of officer candidates. 1 The War Department progressively stepped up OCS 
capacities to keep pace with expansion of the Troop Basis, in order to provide the 
necessary officers for new units well in advance of their activation. The OCS 
population, from slight beginnings in 1941, when only 1,389 officers were gradu- 
ated, leaped upward in the spring of 1942; the number of enlisted candidates 
increased to a total of 31,025 by 15 January 1943. In all, 54,233 officers were 
graduated from AGF officer candidate schools during 1942. (See Tables Nos. 1 
I and 2.} 

The Officer Shortage of 1942 

While the officer candidate schools were expanding, the procurement of 
officer candidates in the prescribed numbers was difficult in the extreme. The 
rapid activations of 1942, outrunning the supply of inductees, left troop units 
with serious shortages of enlisted personnel. 2 It was necessary to resort to several 
expedients, including the recruitment of volunteer candidates from civilian life 
and the award of administrative commissions, to keep the officer candidate 
schools filled. An AGF directive to the field, dated 4 September 1942, pointed 

1 Par 5 c (8), Cir 59, WD, 2 Mar 42. 

* Comparison of Enlisted Strengths of AGF — by Months (C), 24 May 43. 320.2/297 Vi (C). 






<— 1 


0\ ■ SO l^- i 

: : « : 




O • ■ CO IV 

a ■ • >r 

;* i oo : 

00 • 








m • 


o so 
H in 




>— l 


m a 


m i-i 






r- i-i 
T# 05 
rt m 





m SO 
m in 



rn r-- 

1-H IT! 







SO N a O •«! N ^ 
oo oo m C\ m m m 

N f» N H in 






oo ct r^- m so c> 
r-- m so es c\ t-~ 
O m r-( i-i m r- 




M f N t H H 
m I~- H (N 0\ h~ O 

o >r ii n h t m 
vo sf t# r->' 





O i-i o m o — o 

00 00 |-» W M C\ 

IS * * m . % f$ 

so in vi M 








c* cn r-- O I - 
fi ^ oo m m (m y\ 
do so m e\ in \o 

in rt if rth >h 







£5 .-i oo in m CO 
5\ oo m o ■* M 
a m ^ o m ; 

m in £ ; 







00 GO O ■ 00 M 
f-. SO o i W « 
VI ri m r-. 



Antiaircraft Artillery 



Coast Artillery 

Field Artillery 


Tank Destroyer 

















a u 


Graduation of Officer Candidates from AGV Service Schools, 



















y, / AO 


14 304 




"> ^ 1 O 1 

Z!5,ly 1 












/ J / 




1 S74 






Coast Artillery: 




cW 1 
y4 1 






Field Artillery: 




Tank Destroyer: 





























All Schools: 














Source: Statistics compiled in Hist Div, WDSS, from records of AGO. 

* First graduations, September 1941. No ROTC graduations until 1942. 

* Includes graduations of enlisted candidates through 31 August 1945, 
and of ROTC candidates through 30 June 1945. 


out the urgency of the OCS program, cited the case of a company commander 
relieved for not filling his OCS quota, and urged commanders to use 
"salesmanship" in recruiting candidates. 3 

In the procurement of officer candidates Army Ground Forces was handi- 
capped by the fact that its enlisted ranks represented a subaverage cross section 
of the population of the United States. 4 A large proportion of the good men were 
kept from the Army by the recruiting methods used by the Navy and the Marine 
Corps. Within the Army the classification system, emphasizing achievement in 
civilian vocations, tended to concentrate high-grade personnel in technical and 
noncombat branches. In addition the Army Air Forces, under the "75-percent 
rule" and its successive equivalents, drew a large proportion of its inductees 
from the higher intelligence levels of men available to the Army, thereby reduc- 
ing the number of men of officer caliber assigned to the Ground Forces. In some 
branches, such as Antiaircraft, Field Artillery, and Engineers, in which mathe- 
matical knowledge was needed, it was especially difficult in 1942 for AGF units 
to meet officer candidate quotas. 5 There was a marked tendency also for able- 
bodied officer candidates, after basic training in a combat arm, to elect officer 
candidate school in such branches as Quartermaster and Finance. This practice 
was stopped by an amendment to Army Regulations. 6 Until March 1944 enlisted 
men in the ground arms were free to volunteer for training as aviation cadets; 
thousands of high-quality men were lost by the Ground Forces to the Air Forces 
in this manner. 

Since despite repeated screenings of its units the Army Ground Forces could 
not supply enough candidates to fill its own schools, AGF schools were thrown 
open to candidates secured from all branches of the Army. 7 Even this broadening 
of the base from which selections were to be made did not suffice. It became 
necessary in the interests of expediency to depart from the theory on which 
officer procurement had been based. The prevailing Army policy had been to 
secure new officers from the enlisted ranks of the Army, except for certain 

* AGF ltr to CGs, 4 Sep 42, sub: Off Candidate Quotas. 352/301 (OCS). 

4 (1) See above, ["Procurement of Enlisted Personnel: The Problem of Quality."| (2) AGF M/S, G-i 
to CofS, 7 Sep 42, sub: Offs for Engr, FA, AA. 352/315 (OCS). (3) AGF 3d wrapper ind to Mtn Tng Cen, 
21 Sep 42, on AGF ltr, 8 Sep 42, sub: Apps for OCS. 352/317 (OCS). 

' (l) WD ltr AG 352 (4-5-42) MT-A-M 10 CGs, 6 Apr 42, sub: Off Candidates, Technical Branches. 
352/147 (OCS). (2) AGF ltr to CG Mtn Tng Cen, 8 Sep 42, sub: Applications for OCS. 352/317 (OCS). 

* Sec III, Cir 358, WD, 28 Oct 42. 

* ( j) Par 6, Cir 48, WD, 19 Feb 42. (2) Cir 126, WD, 28 Apr 42. 



specialists appointed directly from civilian life, and to award commissions within 
a branch for general duty, including combat leadership. Both these fundamentals 
had to be modified in 1942. 

The volunteer officer candidate (VOC) plan, inaugurated in March 1942, 
was an attempt to tap a large pool of potential officer material — men deferred 
from military service. 8 Under the VOC scheme, a man deferred for dependency 
might apply for officer training with the understanding that if not selected at 
the replacement training center to which he was sent for basic training, or if not 
commissioned at an officer candidate school, he could return to civilian life and 
his former draft status. By December 1942, 38,134 VOC's had been accepted in 
the Army as a whole; 27,000 were attending officer candidate schools. 9 The pro- 
gram tapered off in 1943, when the need for officers declined, and disappeared 
late in that year when dependency ceased to confer draft exemption. The VOC 
program was a source of many officers who, but for the exigencies of procure- 
ment that forced its adoption, might have remained outside the military service 
altogether or accepted commissions in one of the services the officer procurement 
program of which was less restricted. In 1942 the VOC plan did much to solve, 
without lowering the quality of officer candidates, the problem of filling officer 
candidate schools. 10 

But going outside the Army for candidates did not entirely make up for the 
shortage of officer material. It became necessary in the summer of 1942 to make 
another breach in the established plan by redefining the qualifications for a com- 
mission. According to the original theory every officer was qualified to be a 
combat leader, and the OCS mission was defined accordingly: "To produce 
platoon commanders for units of the field forces." 11 Candidates judged to be 
lacking in leadership qualities were relieved from officer candidate schools. As 
the shortage of officers mounted, this practice seemed increasingly wasteful. 
Some 59,000 administrative positions in the Army at large had to be filled, none 
of which required combat leadership ability. To conserve some of the excellent 
material being squandered at officer candidate schools under the restrictive view 

s (1) WD ltr AG 352 (3-19-42) TM-M to CGs, 24 Mar 42, sub: Attendance at OCS of Selective Service 
Registrants Deferred for Dependency Only. 352/138 (OCS). 

'WD ltr AG 352 (12-28-42) OB-D-SPAGO to CGs, 30 Dec 42, sub: Volunteer Off Candidates 
(Quotas Allotted for January 1943). 352/ 408 (OCS). 

10 For relative performance of VOCs and regular candidates in OCS during 1942, see R&SC 1st ind to 
CG AGF, 5 Mar 43, on AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 30 Jan 43, sub: Reduction in Volunteer Off Candidate Prog. 
352/409 (OCS). 

11 Par 6 h, Cir 126, WD, 28 Apr 42. 


of fitness for commission, the War Department in June 1942 gave the schools a 
second mission: "To produce good administrators from those who lack combat 
leadership qualities." Only when a candidate was unfit for any type of 
commissioned duty was he to be relieved. 12 

This revision of procurement standards was not popular with the ground 
arms. The number of administrative positions in the arms was relatively not 
great. Double classification and complicated bookkeeping procedures reduced 
flexibility of assignment. In practice the restriction "commissioned for adminis- 
trative duty only" was generally disregarded, officers being assigned to any duty 
for which they were needed. 13 No figures are available on the number of men 
so commissioned in the Ground Forces. By February 1943, the crisis in procure- 
ment having passed, the original standards for commission were reinstated and 
candidates once more had to qualify as potential combat leaders. 14 

With pressure of the strongest kind being exerted to find candidates for 
officer training, it was inevitable that the system would break down at some 
point. Actually, the breakdown occurred at several points. 

To find enough candidates in units it was necessary to deplete the sources of 
good noncommissioned officers, a point emphasized by Lt. Gen. Ben Lear in a 
personal letter written in October 1942 to General McNair. 15 As the enlisted 
sources were repeatedly picked over, the quality of candidates declined. Despite 
the desire of officer candidate schools to graduate as many men as possible, the 
following table indicates that the proportion of enlisted candidates graduating 
fell steadily through 1942: 

Percentage Graduating 


January 1942 

July 1942 

December 1942 


82.9 (Apr) 








94.5 (Mar) 



Coast Artillery 



Field Artillery 

80.3 (Feb) 







Tank Destroyer 

91.4 (Oct) 


u WD TAG ltr (C) to Comdts OCS's, 16 Jun 42, sub: Disposition of Off Candidates Who Lack Combat 
Leadership but Have Administrative Ability. 210.31/229 (C). 

1S Statement of Maj F. C. Ash, G-i Sec Hq AGF, to AGF Hist Off. 

" WD TAG ltr (C) to Comdts OCS's, 16 Feb 43, sub as in n. 12. 210.31/299 (C). 

15 Personal ltr of Gen Lear to Gen McNair, 22 Oct 42, quoted on p. 19 above. Personal files of Gen. Lear. 



Academic failures, resulting chiefly from lack of proper educational background, 
rose at the Armored School from 3.2 percent in February to 14.8 percent in 
December; at the Coast Artillery School, from 1.1 percent in July to 21.9 percent 
in December; and at the Infantry School, from 1.9 percent in April to 17.3 percent 
in November. 16 In October 1942 Dr. James Grafton Rogers, visiting officer candi- 
date schools at the request of General Marshall, found them "notably troubled by 
poor quality." 17 Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull, commanding the Replacement and 
School Command, admitted that "emphasis on filling officer candidate quotas had 
influenced commanders in many instances to sacrifice quality for quantity." 18 
General McNair defined the dilemma when he remarked to General Lear that 
"we must not set up arbitrary standards and ignore the fact that we must have 
officers." 19 

Numerous expedients were adopted at the officer candidate schools to com- 
bat or offset the poor quality of the available candidate material. Special tests 
were devised to screen out men who had been selected as officer candidates merely 
to fill quotas; preparatory schools were established to give basic training to 
candidates brought in from other arms ; and the policy was adopted of turning 
back weak candidates to repeat all or part of the course in the hope of salvaging 
as many men as possible. The result was unavoidably an adulterated product. By 
the end of 1942 the quality of recent OCS graduates had declined so far that The 
Inspector General suggested sweeping reforms in the selection and training of 
officer candidates. Army Ground Forces opposed the recommendations, feeling 
that the trouble did not lie in the details of the selection system but rather in the 
reluctance of unit commanders to send key enlisted men to officer candidate 
school and in the shortage of high-intelligence personnel within the Army 
Ground Forces. 20 

The Officer Surplus of 1943 and the Control of OCS Production 

The issue in 1942 had been numbers. With passage from shortage to surplus, 
difficulty in finding enough qualified men to fill quotas disappeared. Quality 

M Percentages compiled by Ground Statistics Section, Hq AGF. These percentages do not include ROTC 
candidates, who, however, numbered less than i percent of the OCS graduates in 1942. 

17 James Grafton Rogers, "Some Over-all Comments on Army Training," 22 Oct 42. 095/ 41 (Rogers, J.G.). 

u Gen H. R. Bull, "Comments on Rogers Report." 095/41 (Rogers, J. G.). 

" Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Gen Lear, 6 Aug 42. McNair Correspondence. 

" (1) AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 14 Mar 43, sub: OCSs. 352/60 (C). (2) Memo slips in 352/60 (C). 



could again be insisted on and high standards reasserted. At the end of 1942 the 
War Department wrote a commentary on the problems of the year just past and a 
forecast of the year to come: 21 

While the reduction in officer candidate requirements will not operate to deny qualified 
applicants the opportunity to attend an officer candidate school, it will permit more careful 
selection, and will place officer candidate opportunities on a higher competitive basis. With 
a broad field from which to select a smaller number of candidates, commanders should 
give most careful attention to final selection to the end that the highest type of officer 
material available is selected. 

But in 1943, as in 1942, the control of input continued to be central in officer 
procurement. The problem was no longer how to get enough suitable candidates, 
but how to avoid getting too many. 

Although the Army Ground Forces was given control of the officer candi- 
date schools of the ground arms in March 1942, it did not acquire control over the 
number of candidates to be trained. During 1942 it was responsible only for filling 
school quotas allotted to it by the War Department and for training the candi- 
dates. In March 1943, the procurement crisis of 1942 having passed, the War 
Department decided to delegate control over officer candidate enrollment to the 
three major commands. Since the officer candidate schools constituted by this 
time almost the only large source of new officers — direct Reserve appointments 
having ceased — this action in effect gave the three commands control over the 
whole officer procurement program. Effective with quotas for May 1943, the 
Commanding General, Army Ground Forces, was "to determine and maintain 
the proper number of candidates in schools under his jurisdiction." 22 Following 
by one month a similar delegation of authority over the planning of enlisted 
replacement production, this directive put Army Ground Forces into the person- 
nel business on a large scale, considerably broadening the functions originally 
assigned to it. 

The War Department continued to set the long-range goals for the officer 
procurement program and, because the Ground Forces lacked the necessary 
facilities, to supply estimates of anticipated replacement requirements. Operating 
within the framework of these broad guides, Army Ground Forces set monthly 

* (1) WD ltr (R) AG 352 (12-20-42) OB-D-WDGAP to CGs, 24 Dec 42, sub: Candidates Selected to 
Attend OCS. 352/18 (R). (2) C£. WD Memo W625-7-43, 1 Sep 43, sub: Acceptance and Selection of 
Applicants for OCSs. 352/471 (R). 

" (1) WD ltr AG 352 (3-15-43) OB-D-WDGAP to CG AGF, 16 Mar 43, sub: Authorized Capacities 
of OCSs in the United States. 352/427 (OCS). (2) Change 5, AR 625-5, WD, 19 Mar 43. 



OCS quotas until March 1944, when control over the procurement system passed 
again to the War Department. 

When the Army Ground Forces assumed control over officer procurement 
on 16 March 1943, the number of candidates in AGF schools had already begun 
to decline. (See Table No. O In 1943 the problem was to make an exact calcula- 

tion of future requirements, in the hope that both underproduction and over- 
production might be avoided. 83 Overproduction of officers was wasteful of 
manpower, added to difficulties of administration, necessitated the retraining of 
individuals, and shut the door to promotion to men newly inducted into the 
Army. Despite repeated reductions in numbers of officer candidates, Army 
Ground Forces failed to avoid overproduction in 1943. Future requirements, 
together with other variables, proved impossible to calculate exactly. 

Army Ground Forces was slow to perceive the danger of overproduction. 
The War Department on 15 December 1942 made the first move to check the 
OCS output, reducing the capacity of the Infantry Officer Candidate School by 
almost 50 percent. Army Ground Forces protested strongly against the severity 
of this cut. 24 It wished a 25 percent overstrength in officers in troop units. This 
overstrength had been authorized by the War Department on 27 March 1942 but 
had been impossible to realize under conditions of general shortage. Officer over- 
strength had several uses. As an important element in the training program for 
1943, Army Ground Forces planned to send officers in large numbers to advanced 
courses in the service schools. Units from which officers were detached for this 
purpose needed an overstrength in order to retain enough officers to conduct 
training. Overstrength also provided a means by which units in the United States 
might supply, without damage to themselves, officer replacements for battle and 
nonbattle losses overseas. Further, it constituted a reserve against normal attrition, 
assuring that a unit would have its tabular component of officers at the time of 
embarkation. Army Ground Forces feared that these requirements had been 
underestimated, but the War Department adhered to its decision of December. 
Moreover, in March 1943 when the War Department set the OCS quotas for 

May, it cut those of all the AGF branches except Antiaircraft. 25 (See Table No. 3.] 

a AGF M/S, CofS to G-i and G-3, 28 Mar 43, sub: Authorized Capacities of OCS in the U. S. 352/427 

84 (1) WD memo (S) WDGAP 352 OCS for CG AGF, 15 Dec 42, sub: Quarterly Capacities of OCS for 
AGF. (2) AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 28 Dec 42, sub as in (1). (3) AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 31 Dec 42, 
sub as in (1). All in 352/12 (OCS) (S). 

* (1) AGF M/S, G-i to ExO, n Mar 43, sub: OCS Quotas. AGF G-i Control Div files. (2) AGF 
ltrs to R&SC AAC, Armd F, 31 Mar 43, sub: Authorized Capacities of OCSs in U. S. 352/427 (OCS). 



When it received responsibility for determining OCS output, the first step 
taken by Army Ground Forces was to assemble the data necessary for calculation. 
Figures were obtained on the number of Ground Forces officers who were surplus 
in the defense commands and theaters, the number on loan to Army Service 
Forces, the number in AGF pools or held as overstrength in units, and the num- 


Authorized Monthly Quotas of AGF 
Officer Candidate Schools, 












































Sources; (1) WD ltrs to CG AGF: (S) WDGAP 352 OCS, 15 Dec 42, in 353/12 (OCS) (S); 

AGOT-S-WDGAP 352 (24 May 44), 27 May 44, in 352 /408 (Inf OCS); (S) AGOT- 
S-A 352 (7 Jun 44), 10Jun44,in 352/105 (OCS) (S);AGOT-S-A 352 (20 Sep 44), 
26 Sep 44, in 352/532 (OCS); (R) AGOT-S-A 352 (3 Oct 44), 11 Oct 44, in 352/7 
(OCS) (R). 

(2) AGF quota ltrs in 352 (OCS) diagonals 438, 451, 455, 465, 472, 477, 482, 
500, 503, 504, 506, 508, 529, 532, 539, 564, 573, 575, 579, 584, 591, 599, and in 
352 (Inf OCS) diagonals 408, 412, 415, and 429. 

(3) AGF M/S (S), G-l to ExO, 1 1 Mar 43, in AGF G-l Control Div files. 
•Quotas from July 1943 through May 1944 determined by AGF; quotas for other 

months determined by WD. 



ber being currently produced in the candidate schools. The total represented 
progress already made toward meeting future requirements. 26 The method of 
computing requirements was that outlined by the War Department in its direc- 
tive of 16 March. The main element in the calculation was the Troop Basis, which 
in the spring of 1943 called for 100 divisions, with supporting units, by the end of 
1943. Officers under this program had to be available ninety days before activation 
of new units. Future overhead requirements and the number of ground officers 
needed for duty with the Air Forces also had to be estimated. In addition, pro- 
vision had to be made against expected attrition in troop units and for a backlog 
of overseas officer replacements. For the latter, the War Department prescribed 
that 18,500 officers be held in readiness, mainly as over strength in units. 

The following formula was developed by G-i of Army Ground Forces to 
calculate minimum quotas for officer candidate schools: 27 

1. Add: 

Officer requirements to meet new activations (1943 Troop Basis). 

2 percent annual attrition loss on above. 

4 percent annual attrition loss on established units. 

Estimate for overhead expansion and for arms and services with Army Air 

War Department requirements for overseas loss replacements. 

2. Deduct: 

Surplus officers currently in units (in the United States and overseas). 
Surplus officers in pools. 
Candidates currently in schools. 

3. Increase resultant figure by 20 percent to cover failures in officer candidate schools. 

4. Divide by number of OCS cycles remaining in 1943. 

This calculation was made for each of the seven arms and quasi arms in the 
Ground Forces. 

Satisfactory calculation was difficult because of uncertainty of the main 
factor, the 1943 Troop Basis. On 14 April Army Ground Forces proposed to the 
War Department a general readjustment of mobilization which would decelerate 
activations and more fully synchronize the expansion of ground troops with the 
development of shipping facilities. 28 This program, if acted upon, would have 

M AGF ltrs to AAC, Armd F, R&SC, 31 Mar 43, sub as in n. 25 (2). 352/427 (OCS). 
"AGF M/S, Lt Col W. S. Renshaw to G-i, 31 Mar 43, sub: Rpt of Visit to School Establishments. 
AGF G-i Sec files. 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 14 Apr 43, sub: Modification of Mobilization Procedures. 
381/177 (S). 



reduced officer requirements for 1943, especially those of tank destroyer and 
antiaircraft units. No action was taken. On 4 May the Army Ground Forces 
learned from G-i and G-3 of the War Department that activation of 10 divisions 
in 1944 could be expected, in addition to the 100 divisions planned for 1943. 29 In 
June the outlook reversed itself; the 100 divisions planned for 1943 were cut to 
88, and there was no indication whether the remaining 12 (not to mention an 
additional 10) were only deferred to 1944 or permanently canceled. In July a new 
1943 Troop Basis appeared. It not only dropped 12 divisions and their supporting 
units but also embodied reductions in Tables of Organization on which Army 
Ground Forces had long been working. The number of enlisted men to be 
mobilized by 31 December 1943 in ground combat units was diminished by about 
400,000. Some 30,000 fewer officers would be required than were previously 

On 28 April, long before these reductions became official, G-i of Army 
Ground Forces reported that officer requirements for 1943 would be met, with 
a small surplus to spare, at dates varying among the arms from July to October 
1943. On those dates the officer candidate schools could be closed so far as 1943 
requirements were concerned. It was undesirable to close the schools altogether; 
aside from the probable need for them in the more distant future, opportunity 
for officer training was important to the morale of enlisted men. To keep open 
this opportunity G-i proposed a plan to admit twice as many men to officer 
candidate schools as it was practicable to commission, the half not qualifying for 
commissions to be diverted by process of elimination to advanced enlisted 
training. Nothing came of this proposal. 30 

On 8 May 1943 Army Ground Forces set OCS quotas for July, the first such 
quotas established under AGF authority. 31 Although the directive of 16 March 
had specified that AGF determination should begin with the quotas for May, 
the War Department had already announced May quotas. Commitments already 
made to enlisted men selected for officer training, and the length of time neces- 
sary to assemble data and compute new estimates, were such that Army Ground 
Forces retained the May quotas as announced. June quotas, which had to be 
announced by the middle of April, were made the same as those for May, again 

" AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 4 May 43, sub: Off Requirements. AGF G-i Sec files. 

M AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 28 Apr 43, sub: Reduction of OCS Capacities and Reorganization. AGF G-i 
Sec files. 

81 AGF ltrs to R&SC, AAC, Armd F, 12 May 43, sub: OCS Quota for July 1943. Confirming telephone 
instructions of 8 May. 352/ 438 (OCS). 



because calculation of requirements had not been completed. July quotas, there- 
fore, represented the first new departure. 

The quotas for July applied drastic cuts except in Infantry and Coast Artil- 
lery. Field Artillery, Armored, and Tank Destroyer OCS quotas were reduced 67 
percent; those of Antiaircraft, 75 percent; and those of C avalry, 50 percent . 

Further reductions followed in August, and again in October. (See Table No. 3. ) 
Announced respectively on 13 June and 10 August, these further reductions 
reflected the crystallization of the Troop Basis at the reduced level of 88 (later 90) 
divisions. Such uncertainty remained that capacities of the schools — their over- 
head and facilities as distinguished from actual monthly intake — were left 
relatively high until indications of the 1944 Troop Basis were forthcoming from 
the War Department in the later months of I943- 32 

The quotas for July and the following months, small though they were, 
called for more officer candidates than were actually needed. This was because 
certain groups of personnel, irrespective of officer requirements, had to be 
allowed to qualify for commissions. The officer surplus caused by the sudden 
reduction of the Troop Basis was made larger by the necessity of putting these 
groups through the candidate schools. 33 

By far the largest group which, irrespective of requirements, had to be 
admitted to officer candidate schools consisted of men in the Advanced Reserve 
Officers' Training Corps program. These were college students who had con- 
tracted to pursue military training during their last two years of college with a 
view to qualifying for a commission, and toward whom it was felt that the 
Government had an obligation. Small numbers of these men had been admitted 
as officer candidates in 1942. They became eligible in large numbers between the 
summer of 1943 and the summer of 1944, the period of officer surplus in the 
ground arms. In 1944 the bulk of OCS graduates from the AGF schools were 
ROTC candidates. [See Table No. 2$ There were three types of ROTC 
candidates: 34 

1. Second-Year Advanced ROTC's. Members of the normal college class 
of 1943, having completed the entire ROTC course except for the summer camp, 
suspended since the outbreak of the war. 

** (1) AGF M/S, G-i to AG, 18 Jun 43, jub: OCS Capacities. (2) AGF ltrs to AAC, Armd F, 18 Jun, 
sub as in (1); to R&SC, 24 Jun, All in 352/448 (OCS). 

" For this and the following five paragraphs see especially AGF memo (R) for G— 1 WD, 24 May 43, 
mb: Procurement of Commissioned Offs. 210.1/315 (AUS). 

"Papers in 210.1/85 and /86 (ORC), and in 352/403 (OCS). 


II 7 

2. Second-Year Advanced ROTC's. Members of the college class of 1944, 
qualifying by acceleration of studies for graduation before or about 30 September 

1943, and having an almost complete 2-year advanced ROTC course. 

3. First-Year Advanced ROTC's. Members of the normal college class of 

1944, unable to graduate from college before induction into the Army, but with 
one year of advanced ROTC completed. 

In general, ROTC students went to the officer candidate school of the arm in 
which their ROTC work had been done; but since ROTC units gave no tank 
destroyer or armored training, some redistribution among the arms was necessary 
in assignment to officer candidate school. 

Another group to be sent to officer candidate schools consisted of enlisted 
men selected overseas for officer training. In 1943, there were no candidate schools 
overseas except in Great Britain and Australia. Selected candidates from other 
theaters returned to the United States. Room had to be made for them in AGF 
candidate schools. 33 

In May and June 1943 it was also necessary, for planning purposes, to include 
the Army Specialized Training Program. Army Ground Forces at this time 
considered allowing 25 percent of ASTP trainees, in general those who would 
eventually complete the "Advanced" or 4-year college program, to qualify for 
commissions. Only the longest-range planning was affected. As events turned 
out, with the reduction of the Troop Basis and the rising need for enlisted 
replacements it became impossible even to consider commissioning ASTP 
students. No quotas for them were ever allotted in the candidate schools. 

Much the smallest group consisted of volunteer officer candidates. By 1943 
the need for the VOC system had abated ; the War Department greatly reduced 
the VOC program but was reluctant to stop it entirely. To keep it going, a 
nominal VOC quota was awarded by Army Ground Forces to each replacement 
training center. The system disappeared naturally, late in 1943, when dependency 
ceased to carry exemption from the draft. 36 

These special groups, coming into officer candidate schools, threatened to 
squeeze out ordinary enlisted men of the Army Ground Forces. It was highly 

"AGF memo for G-i WD, n Aug 43, sub: Return of Accepted Officer Candidates from Overseas 
Theaters and Bases. 352/464 (OCS). 

38 (1) WD ltr AG 352 (3-19-43) MT-M, 24 Mar 42, sub: Attendance at OCS of SS Registrants Deferred 
for Dependency Only. 352/138 (OCS). (2) AGF ltr to AAC, 28 Jul 43, sub: Volunteer Off Candidates. 
352/456 (OCS). 


desirable for morale purposes, irrespective of officer requirements, to allot 
nominal OCS quotas to tactical units and replacement training centers. 

To lay plans for accommodating the various groups within the shrinking 
limits of officer candidate schools, and to clarify and stabilize the ultimate 
objectives in officer production, a committee of AGF staff officers prepared a 
detailed study on "Procurement of Commissioned Officers" which was submitted 
to the War Department on 24 May 1943. 37 The study presupposed the then exist- 
ing 100-division program. It recommended that 50 percent of OCS capacity be 
reserved for the college sources — first for ROTC students until an undetermined 
date in 1944, then for ASTP graduates. The remaining 50 percent of capacity 
would be reserved for troop units and replacement training centers, in numbers 
divided between Army Ground Forces and overseas theaters in proportion to 
relative strengths. Reduction of OCS capacities, ensuing upon reduction of the 
Troop Basis, made these features of the plan unworkable. Not only did the long- 
run arrangements for ASTP never materialize but it proved impossible to main- 
tain equality between the number of officer candidates from troop units and 
replacement centers and the number from the ROTC. 

The ROTC problem, wrote G-i of Army Ground Forces, "is, with the 
possible exception of ASTP, one of the most sensitive administrative problems 
we have at this time." 38 The difficulty was in putting through the limited capaci- 
ties of the officer candidate schools a large number of ROTC students all of 
whom became available at about the same time. In this matter the plan set forth 
in the study of 24 May was followed. 

Second-year advanced ROTC men, of the normal college class of 1943, hav- 
ing graduated from college in June, and lacking only the summer camp in the 
normal requirements for a Reserve commission, proceeded to officer candidate 
schools in June, July, August, and September. Pending the dates on which 
successive groups could be admitted, the War Department proposed that these 
men, who had four years of military training under college conditions, be used 
as instructors at replacement training centers. Army Ground Forces objected, 
noting that ROTC students had lacked opportunity to train with modern equip- 
ment and that replacement training was so important that it required the highest 
quality of instruction. Second-year advanced ROTC men were therefore kept 

"AGF memo (R) for G-i, WD, 24 May 43, sub: Procurement of Commissioned Offs. 210.1/315 

" AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 15 Jul 43, sub: ROTCs. 352/403 (OCS). 


II 9 

in pools, where they were redistributed among the arms, given some instruction, 
and then filtered gradually into the candidate schools. 39 

Second-year advanced ROTC men of the accelerated class of 1944 were 
allowed to remain in college until graduation, which occurred in most institu- 
tions before 30 September 1943. On graduation they went to officer candidate 
schools. The number of these men proved less than was anticipated. It was 
planned that they should reach officer candidate schools in October, November, 
and December. They began in fact to enter in September; in October and 
November they were so few that no OCS quotas were set especially for them, the 
few who appeared being admitted outside of quotas. 40 By December none of this 
ROTC group remained. 

First-year advanced ROTC students were considerably short of having com- 
pleted the ROTC course. They were sent upon induction to replacement training 
centers, where they received basic training in the various arms and were selected 
for officer candidate school, having to meet the usual requirements of intelligence 
and leadership. Those selected were then returned for further study to the 
colleges, under the administration of the Army Specialized Training Program. 
They were accepted as officer candidates as room became available in successive 
increments beginning in December 1943. 

During the period beginning with the establishment of reduced OCS quotas 
by Army Ground Forces for July 1943 and lasting through May 1944, with the 
exception of October and November 1943, ROTC students formed a large 
majority of the candidates admitted to officer candidate schools. Several hundred 
candidates from overseas were also admitted. During the last six months of 1943 
less than 2,0,00 officer candidates were selected from AGF units in the United 
States, including those of all seven ground arms. This was no more than had been 
admitted each month for Antiaircraft alone before July 1943. It was a minimum 
number judged necessary to maintain the morale of enlisted men and to avoid 
a situation in which college students would be given officer training while 
soldiers in the field were denied it. 

To summarize^ it was found impossible to prevent overproduction of officers 
in 1943 because, simultaneously with the sudden drop in requirements incident 
to the revision of the Troop Basis, roughly 15,000 ROTC students previously 

"AGF memo for G-i WD, 20 Jul 43, sub: Disposition of 2d Yr Advanced ROTC Students. 352/403 

" The absence of ROTC quotas in October and November accounts for the low quotas of these months 
as shown in Table No. 3. 



held on the campuses became available to the Ground Forces and for reasons of 
policy had to be allowed to qualify for commissions. Although only about half 
the available ROTC men were enrolled in officer candidate schools in 1943, they 
helped to increase the total number of OCS graduates from AGF schools during 
1943 above that of 1942. In all, 58,1 09 OCS candidates were commissioned, of 

whom 5,215 were from the ROTC. [See Table No. 2.) 

Liquidation of the Antiaircraft Surplus 

Antiaircraft Artillery presented the extreme case of inability to make 
accurate prediction of officer requirements. By December 1943 a surplus of anti- 
aircraft officers existed, variously estimated at from 5,000 to over io,ooo. 41 Esti- 
mates differed because surplus could be variously defined, depending on 
provisions made for attrition, battle replacements, overhead, future activations, 
and so forth. A figure of 10,000 represented a strength of about 40 percent over 
Table of Organization requirements as of December 1943. 

The main cause of surplus was the reduction at a late date of the planned 
strength of antiaircraft units. The reduction was more precipitous than the prior 
reductions to which other ground units had been subjected by the revision of the 
1943 Troop Basis. Lack of complete understanding among the War Department, 
Army Ground Forces, and the Antiaircraft Command, and within the head- 
quarters staff of Army Ground Forces, played its part in faulty planning of 
antiaircraft officer strength. 

In 1942, when the main outlines of the war army were being drawn, enemy 
air power was of formidable proportions, and the War Department favored a 
maximum development of antiaircraft artillery. In the summer of 1942, in setting 
up the 1943 Troop Basis, the War Department prescribed an enlisted strength 
of over 600,000 in Antiaircraft, to be attained by 31 December 1943. 42 This 
strength was about half that contemplated for Infantry. General McNair on 29 
October 1942 stated his belief that the strength proposed for Antiaircraft was too 
high (in proportion to other ground arms), considering the liberal provisions 
being made for expansion of the Army Air Forces, by which enemy air power 
would presumably be weakened. 43 The 1943 Troop Basis, announced officially in 

a AGF M/S (S), 7 Dec 43, sub: Surplus CAC Officers. 321 /407 (CAC) (S). 

** (1) WD Itr (S) AG 320.2 (8-27-42) MS-C-M, 28 Aug 42, sub: TB for 1943. 320.2/4 (TUB 43) 
(S). (2) WD memo WDGCT 320.2 Gen (10-25-42), 25 Oct 42, sub as in (1). 320.2/5 (TUB 43MS). 
43 AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 29 Oct 42, sub: TB for 1943. 320.2/5 (TUB 43) (S). 



November 1942, left the figure for Antiaircraft still slightly over 6oo,ooo. 44 
Recommendations made by General McNair on 14 April 1943 included the defer- 
ment of 88 antiaircraft battalions. 45 The recommendation was not accepted 
immediately, but in June 1943 the Committee on Revision of the Military Pro- 
gram, War Department General Staff, reduced by 58 the number of antiaircraft 
battalions. 48 General McNair urged a still larger cut on 22 June, recommending 
that an enlisted strength of 18.0,000 be transferred from Antiaircraft to other 
types of Ground Forces units. 47 As announced on 28 July, the reduced Troop 
Basis cut Antiaircraft about 62,000. Revised again as of 4 October, the Troop 
Basis finally embodied General McNair's views on the matter, cutting Antiair- 
craft by another 112,000 to a strength of 427,832 as of the end of 1943. Further 
planning reduced proposed strength as of the end of 1944 to 405,535. The decisive 
change was that of 4 October 1943, from which Antiaircraft Artillery emerged 
with only two-thirds of the strength originally expected. Until 4 October 1943, 
though not believing the current expansion of Antiaircraft to be wise, Army 
Ground Forces had to plan to have ready 24,350 antiaircraft officers, for tactical 
units only, by the end of the year. The number actually required after 4 October 
was only 18,845. Since officers had to be trained in advance this overproduction 
could hardly have been avoided. 48 

Overproduction might, nevertheless, have been smaller, had different deci- 
sions been made in the first part of 1943. The Antiaircraft Command wished in 
March to curtail slightly the number of its officer candidates. The War Depart- 
ment, which at this time was fixing quotas for May, cut the OCS quotas for May 
in the other ground arms but not in Antiaircraft. On 11 March a conference was 
held at the headquarters of the Antiaircraft Command, at which Brig. Gen. John 
M. Lentz, G-3 of the Army Ground Forces, directed that the OCS quota remain 
at 2,000 a month. 49 This quota was maintained through June. 

The studies completed by G-i of Army Ground Forces late in April 1943 
indicated an imminent overproduction of officers in all ground arms except 
Infantry. Too late to affect the June quotas, these studies led to the abrupt reduc- 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (11-24-42), 24 Nov 42, sub: TB for 1943. AGO Records, 322 
(7-14-42) Sec 1 (S). 

45 Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 14 Apr 43, sub: Modification of Mob Procedures. 381/177 (S). 
" Memo (S) of Special Committee for DCofS USA, 13 Jun 43, sub: TUB 1943. 320.2/31 (TUB 43) (S). 
" Memo (S) of Gen McNair for DCofS USA, 22 Jun 43, sub: TUB 1943. 320.2/31 (TUB 43) (S). 
"Statistics from Tab B to memo of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 1 Feb 44. 321/408 (CAC)(S). 
"AGF M/S, G-3 to CG, n Mar 43, sub: AA Schs. 352/12 (OCS) (S). 



tions directed for July. A greater cut was then applied to Antiaircraft than to any 
other arm. In August the input into Antiaircraft Officer Candidate School was 
scarcely 10 percent of what it had been in June. No candidates entered in August 
except ROTC's, VOC's, and candidates from overseas. Except for these three 
groups, whose admission was prescribed by the War Department, only 145 candi- 
dates entered the Antiaircraft School from August to December, inclusive. These 
145 represented a minimum believed necessary for the maintenance of morale. 80 

Since a slight officer surplus was accumulating even under the unreduced 
Troop Basis, the slashing of the program for Antiaircraft on 4 October 1943 
produced an officer surplus of considerable size. At the same time it became clear 
that no increase in the strength of Antiaircraft would be called for in the Troop 
Basis of 1944 and that the surplus could therefore not be absorbed. In November 
Army Ground Forces took steps to encourage the shifting of officers in Antiair- 
craft to other arms by voluntary transfers, of which more than 5,000 were 
effected in the following four months. 61 It was decided to postpone transfer by 
nonvoluntary means until the settlement and publication of the 1944 Troop Basis, 
which, in defining the units scheduled for activation, would show into what arms 
surplus antiaircraft officers could most advantageously be moved. 

On 4 December 1943 the Antiaircraft Command estimated its officer surplus 
at 5,836, and recommended suspension of its officer candidate school. G-i of 
Army Ground Forces figured the surplus at approximately 1.0,500 and recom- 
mended block transfers to other arms by nonvoluntary means. G-3 of Army 
Ground Forces hesitated at block transfers, fearing the increase of school over- 
head which the retraining of Antiaircraft officers on a large scale would involve. 
G-3 believed the officer surplus in Antiaircraft to be exaggerated. G-i assembled 
figures to show that antiaircraft tactical units were carrying, on the average, an 
officer strength of 141.5 percent. It was agreed to request the War Department for 
authority to suspend the Antiaircraft Officer Candidate School. This authority 
was granted on 12 January 1944. Meanwhile, on 4 January, Army Ground Forces 
canceled for February 1944 entrance into the Antiaircraft School of all candidates 
except those of the ROTC. A few weeks later the same policy was applied to 
ROTC men. Both ROTC and non-ROTC candidates, who together numbered 
only 144 for February, were shifted to the Infantry, Field Artillery, and Armored 

" AGF M/S (S), G-i to CofS, 29 Jan 44, sub: Surplus AA Offs. 321/408 (CAC) (S). 

81 (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 12 Nov 43, sub: Applications for Transfer or Detail. 210.31/601 (CAC). (2) 
AGF memo (S) for DCofS USA, 20 Mar 44, sub: Reduction in CAC Off Overstrength. 321/408 (CAC) (S). 



Officer Candidate Schools, the only ones still open in the Ground Forces. The 
intake of the Antiaircraft School was thereby stopped. 52 

Late in January the officer surplus in Antiaircraft aroused the unfavorable 
attention of the War Department General Staff. The Inspector General submitted 
a highly critical report, and General Marshall made inquiry of General McNair. 
"This does not impress me as businesslike, certainly not efficient," he wrote, and 
added: "Is there any good explanation for this business to have continued the way 
it has without evident signs of correction ?" In his reply General McNair outlined 
the main facts of the preceding year. Maj. Gen. Ray E. Porter, War Department 
G-3, expressed his opinion that Army Ground Forces was not responsible for the 
surplus in Antiaircraft. 53 

In retrospect, it would appear that the only time when Army Ground Forces 
might have acted to prevent the surplus was in March 1943, when the War 
Department left the OCS quotas untouched for Antiaircraft while reducing the 
others. Had Army Ground Forces at this time supported the desire of the Anti- 
aircraft Command to curtail, the action of the War Department might have been 
different. But the Troop Basis for Antiaircraft was at that time so high, and such 
questions as attrition rates, replacement needs, and desirable overstrengths were 
so difficult to agree upon that there was room for legitimate difference of opinion. 

By March 1944, 5,668 antiaircraft officers had been voluntarily transferred 
to other arms or services. The conversion of antiaircraft officers to other arms, 
chiefly to the Infantry, for which special retraining courses were established in 
certain of the AGF schools, was one feature of the officer program during 1944. 

The Reclassification of Officers 

From the beginning of 1943 the number of officers in the ground arms was 
in excess of Table of Organization requirements. The surplus increased follow- 
ing the reduction of the Troop Basis in July 1943, despite rigorous curtailment at 
that time in the output of the officer candidate schools. With the slowing down of 
promotions, the excess was concentrated in the grade of lieutenant. It amounted 
to about 30,000 in the last months of 1943. 5 * 

a For this paragraph see AGF memo slips in 321 /407 and /408 (CAC) (S). 
"Memos in 321/408 (CAC) (S). 

" (1) AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 12 Oct 43, sub: OC Program. AGF G-i Control Div files. (2) Sta- 
tistical Tabulation: Authorized and Actual Strength of Offs in the AGF by Grade and Arm or Service. 
320.2/352 (C). 



In general, except in Antiaircraft Artillery, the excess over Table of Organi- 
zation requirements in the Ground Forces did not represent a surplus in the 
sense of a superfluity. It did not mean that the total number of officers was 
substantially more than was needed for all purposes, immediate or eventual, or 
more than could profitably engage in some kind of activity. Of the excess, 18,500 
officers were maintained by order of the War Department as a source of overseas 
replacements. 55 Since overseas replacements had to be furnished mainly in lieu- 
tenants, the degree to which lieutenants in the Ground Forces were actually sur- 
plus depended on the volume of overseas calls. Officers were needed for domestic 
purposes to meet varying and elastic needs. Overhead allotments had to be made, 
reserves against attrition built up, and so forth. The policy of improving the 
professional education of officers by sending them to service schools in large 
numbers required an excess over Tables of Organization strength, if insufficiency 
of officers on duty with units was not to handicap the training of the field forces. 

While the existence of an officer surplus encouraged commanders in some 
instances to send officers to school or put them in overhead positions merely to 
keep them busy, it had the advantage of making possible a sustained policy of 
eliminating the least fit. In 1942 separation from the service for inefficiency had 
been unusual because of the shortage of officers. Vacancies were so numerous that 
an unsuitable officer would be reassigned to a position in which presumably he 
would be more effective. At the same time the wholesale operation of officer 
candidate schools and rapid promotions in all grades were producing officers 
whose competency was open to question. At the end of the year, as the pressure 
to produce numbers relaxed, attention turned to reclassification, the standard 
procedure by which officers were demoted or dropped because of inefficiency. In 
December 1942 General Lentz, in protesting against the severity with which 
the War Department then cut OCS capacities, argued that an overstrength of 
officers should be developed as an aid, among other things, to reclassification. He 
observed that, while more officers should be reclassified, they would not be unless 
a margin in numbers existed. 56 

The War Department continued for some time to study the matter. On 9 
June 1943 it published the revised AR 605-230, designed to increase the use of 

55 WD Itr AG 352 (3-15-43) OB-D-WDGAP, 16 Mar 43, sub: Authorized Capacities of OCS in U. S. 
352/427 (OCS). The figure of 3,000 prescribed in this letter for Field Artillery was later raised to 4,000, 
making the total 18,500. 

M AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 28 Dec 42, sub: Quarterly Capacity of OCSs of AGF. 352/12 (OCS)(S). 


I2 5 

reclassification. Army Ground Forces on 10 July enjoined subordinate com- 
manders to employ fully the powers granted. 57 On 14 July, over the signature of 
General Marshall, a confidential radiogram was dispatched by the War Depart- 
ment directly to the field, including Ground Forces commanders down to the 
division : 58 

The officer problem demands closer attention. Out of 500,000 officers only four were 
eliminated from the Army for inefficiency during the month of May. ... It is inconceivable 
that of 500,000 only four should fail to come up to the required standards of leadership. 
. . . Commanders of every echelon will be judged by their discernment and moral courage 
in the elimination of the unfit. 

Inertia was great not only because of the personal embarrassments involved 
for individual commanders but also because the required administrative process 
remained formidable and indirect. Jurisdiction in reclassification cases rested 
with the commanding generals of the service commands. General McNair 
believed that Ground Forces commanders might use more initiative if cases could 
be settled nearer home. In August 1943 a plan was drawn up whereby reclassifica- 
tion jurisdiction would be granted to the Commanding General of the Army 
Ground Forces and delegated to commanders having general court-martial 
jurisdiction. 89 These included, by a recent action, commanders of armies, corps, 
divisions, special training commands, service schools, replacement training 
centers, and replacement depots. On 2 September Army Ground Forces requested 
permission to test the plan with the Second and Third Armies. The War Depart- 
ment disapproved. General McNair still favored the plan, for reasons indicated 
in the following note for his G-i on 9 November: 60 

I favor requesting reconsideration. . . . Basic premise should be that the reclassification 
of officers is an important function of command, that the Chief of Staff, USA, has recently 
stressed the importance of this function and criticized the manner in which it was being 
performed by commanders. In spite of this fact, reclassification cases are heard, not by 
the responsible commander, but by service commanders who have no responsibility for the 
efficiency of ground force units. 

Successful efforts were made to speed up the working of the existing system. 61 

CT AGF ltr to CGs, 10 Jul 43, sub: Reclassification of Offs. 210.01/267. 
M AGF Classified Radio File, CM-OUT-6035. 

M AGFM/S, G-i to CofS, 3 Nov 43, sub: Reclassification Jurisdiction. With supporting tabs. 210.01/274. 
80 AGF M/S, CG to G—i, 9 Nov 43, sub as in n. 59. 210.01/274. 

"(1) Cir 280, WD, 5 Nov 43. (2) AGF M/S, G-i to CG, 12 Nov 43, sub: Action on Reclassification 
Proceedings. 210.01/288. 



The number of officers separated from the service by reclassification rose to 
over 200 a month. In December 1943, in the three major commands, the number 
was 286. Of these, 207 were in the Army Ground Forces. 62 A smaller number 
were separated under authority granted in AR 605-10, which provided that 
officers commissioned in the Army of the United States (that is, not in the 
Regular Army, the National Guard, and the Officers' Reserve Corps), and 
which applied, therefore, principally to graduates of officer candidate schools, 
might be eliminated without reclassification at any time within six months of 
receiving their commissions. 03 Because the AGF surplus was mainly in the 
younger age levels the Army Ground Forces derived little advantage from the 
policy of the War Department, adopted in January 1944, of relieving from active 
duty officers over thirty-eight for whom no suitable assignment existed. 84 

Notwithstanding the improvement in the use of reclassification under the 
existing system, of which Army Ground Forces had taken full advantage, the 
War Department on 4 January 1944 decentralized reclassification jurisdiction as 
General McNair desired. 65 Army Ground Forces delegated to immediate sub- 
ordinate commanders, who were authorized to delegate in turn to commanders 
having general court-martial jurisdiction, the power to hear reclassification cases 
involving captains and lieutenants. To overcome the inertia of subordinate com- 
manders, Army Ground Forces devised at General McNair's suggestion a special 
monthly report. 66 In this report, required in a directive of 8 March 1944, each 
commander was to give the number of cases in which he had instituted proceed- 
ings since last reporting, or else to state that no unsatisfactory officers were 
assigned or attached to his command. 

One reason for the inertia of commanders in effecting the separation of 
unqualified officers from the service was that, until early in 1944, the overstrength 
system made it possible for a commander to rid his own unit of unwanted officers 

" (1) Incl 6 to AGF M/S (S), 29 Jan 44. 210.31/1308 (S). (2) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS 
USA, 1 Feb 44, sub: AA Off Pers. 321/408 (CAC) (S). 

ra (i) AGF Itr to CGs, 3 Dec 43, sub: Discharge of Offs under Provisions of Par 26, AR 605-10. 
210.8/47. (2) Incl 6 to AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 29 Jan 44. 210.31/1308(8). 

" AGF M/S (R), G-i to CofS, 22 Dec 43, sub: Relief from Active Duty of Offs for Whom no Suitable 
Asgmt Exists. 210.8/2 (R). 

K (1) WD ltr (R) AG 201.6 (31 Dec 43) PO-M-A to CG AGF, 4 Jan 44, sub: Revision of AR 605-230. 
(2) AGF 1st ind to CGs, 8 Jan 44, on Itr cited in (1). Both in 210.01/304^ (R). 

" (1) AGF M/S, CG to CofS, 28 Feb' 44, sub: Elimination of Unfit Offs. (2) AGF ltr to CGs, 3 Mar 44, 
sub as in (1). (3) AGF memo for G-i WD, 8 Mar 44, sub: Rpt on Progress in Elimination of Unfit Offs. 
All in 210.01/308. 



by a less drastic method. The problem of eliminating unqualified officers was 
tied in with the general problem of surplus. When, on 16 March 1943, the War 
Department prescribed that 18,500 officers be maintained as a source of overseas 
replacements, it specified that except for small pools they should be carried as 
overstrength in tactical units. 67 A commissioned overstrength of 25 percent had 
been authorized by the War Department since 27 March 1942 for units in the 
United States. 68 The requirement for 18,500 officers in the seven arms and quasi 
arms constituted about 20 percent of the officers in those arms under Army 
Ground Forces, roughly, those in the continental United States, in 1943. In 1942 
the shortage of officers made such overstrength impossible to realize. In 1943 
many unit commanders showed a reluctance to requisition up to a full 125 percent 
of their tabular commissioned strength. Insofar as units failed to carry full over- 
strength, officers tended to accumulate in pools. To clear the pools and to 
distribute the accumulating surplus, of which the chief single component was 
the 18,500 officers produced as replacements, Army Ground Forces on 12 July 
1943 made it mandatory for units to requisition up to the full 125 percent of 
tabular commissioned strength. 69 Although the directive was not universally 
acted on, unit overstrength increased in the latter half of 1943. 

Pools also grew rapidly. After the reduction of the general Troop Basis in 
July 1943 and of the antiaircraft Troop Basis in October, units for which officers 
were produced in advance failed to come into being. Pools therefore expanded. 
Pools were kept at high levels by the increase in the number of officers returning 
from overseas, by the dissolution of air base security and barrage balloon 
battalions, by the dropping of officer overstrengths from units preparing for 
embarkation, and by OCS overproduction caused principally by the necessity of 
admitting ROTC candidates after the need for new officers had ceased. In the 
Infantry, the number of officer replacements maintained by order of the War 
Department — 9,000 out of the 18,500 — was larger than could be accommodated 
in infantry units even at a 25 percent overstrength. Infantry pools grew 
correspondingly, until the increase in battle casualties turned surplus into 
shortage. 70 

" (1) WD ltr AG 35a (3-15-43) OB-D-WDGAP to CG AGF, 16 Mar 43, sub: Authorized Capacities 
of OCSs in the United States. 352/427 (OCS). (2) AGF M/S, G-i to CG, 5 Oct 43, sub: G-i Matters 
as Result o£ Western Trip of Gen McNair. 353.02/245. 

68 WD ltr AG 320.3 (3-20-42) OP-A-M to CGs, 27 Mar 42, sub: Disposition of Pool of Offs. 320.2/1673. 

w AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 12 Jul 43, sub: Off Overstrength. 320.2/234 (R). 

TO (1) AGF M/S, G-i to CG, 5 Oct 43, sub: G-i Matters as Result of Western Trip of Gen McNair. 
353.02/245. (2) AGF memo for G-i WD, 22 Oct 43, sub: Disposition of Surplus Offs. AGF G-i Sec files. 



Overstrength units, not pools, were the source from which officer replace- 
ments for overseas theaters were in principle to be taken. In the North African 
campaign, many second lieutenants had entered combat as replacements without 
adequate experience with troops in the United States. Army Ground Forces 
thereafter enforced stringently, with more success after the establishment of 
replacement depots under AGF command, the requirement that officer replace- 
ments serve at least three months with tactical units in the United States. It was 
ruled specifically that officers sent to replacement depots must have served with 
Table of Organization companies, batteries, or troops (not with units in replace- 
ment training centers); that in quality they should preferably be above the 
average of their units of origin; and that they must have gone through an 
infiltration course with overhead fire, fired a marksmanship course, and met 
other specified requirements/ 1 

Divisions and other units required an overstrength in order to supply officer 
replacements without impairing their own organization. Unit overstrength, 
however, also entailed certain difficulties. If excessive, as it came to be in many 
antiaircraft units, overstrength could indeed be ruinous. Officers got in each 
other's way, confused command responsibilities, and spent their time either in 
idleness or in performing noncommissioned officers' work, to the disadvantage 
of all concerned. Usually, however, the trouble was not that overstrength was 
excessive but that it was known to be temporary. 

Units dropped their overstrength on preparing to move overseas. In 1943 no 
distinction was made during the training period between officers who were over- 
strength and those who were not, all being assigned to a unit in the same fashion. 
A unit commander could knowingly go through his training period with officers 
whom he did not wish to take into combat, expecting to drop them as over- 
strength before embarkation. In these circumstances only the strongest com- 
manders took action, by reclassification or otherwise, to separate unsuitable 
officers from the service. Ineffective officers, dropped as overstrength, might pass 
through a pool, be assigned to another unit, dropped again, and so forth. The 
pool-and-overstrength system was a kind of no man's land in which, if it was not 
carefully watched, unsuitable officers might be hidden indefinitely, and in which 
the best officers might deteriorate from lack of proper activity. 

In pools it was especially difficult for all officers to be profitably occupied. 
General McNair raised this question in October 1943 on returning from an 

n (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 19 Sep 43, sub: Requirements for Overseas Repl Offs. (2) AGF !tr to CGs, 
1 Jan 44, sub as in (1). (3) AGF ltr to CGs, 5 Apr 44, sub as in (1). All in 210.31/27 (O'seas Repl Deps). 



inspection trip. There were then 10,000 officers in AGF pools. G-i of Army 
Ground Forces reported that they attended schools, served as supplementary 
instructors at replacement training centers, and were rotated into units as rapidly 
as possible to fill vacancies left when units furnished overseas replacements. 72 
On 27 December 1943 The Inspector General reported very unfavorably on AGF 
pools, charging that they had become a means of avoiding reclassification of the 
unfit. It was believed at AGF headquarters, after consultation with the Replace- 
ment and School Command, that the charges were exaggerated. 73 

On 20 December, before The Inspector General's report, Army Ground 
Forces took steps to control the abuses of overstrength. 74 A directive of that date 
provided that unit commanders must fill their Table of Organization positions by 
organic assignment of officers in the prescribed grades. The new procedure forced 
a unit commander to determine during the training period those officers who 
should be permanently assigned and those who should be carried as overstrength. 
The unit commander, instead of carrying an undifferentiated group of officers 
from among whom he would be free to choose his permanent personnel before 
sailing, was committed to choosing them at once; he had to dispose of unsatisfac- 
tory individuals within his organic strength, either by initiating reclassification 
or by some other means of earmarking the unfit. The new policy was reinforced 
early in January 1944 by the delegation of reclassification jurisdiction to 
subordinate AGF commanders. 

On 20 January 1944 the War Department abolished overstrength for most 
units in the United States, except in the grade of second lieutenant, in which an 
optional degree of overstrength was permitted. 75 Implementing this action, 
Army Ground Forces required the requisitioning of a 25 percent overstrength 
in second lieutenants by infantry and cavalry units, and of a 50 percent over- 
strength by field artillery, antiaircraft, armored, and tank destroyer units. 76 
Since the surplus of officers, like the need for overseas replacements, was heavily 

* a AGF M/S, CG to G-i, 4 Oct 43, sub: G-i Matters as Result of Western Trip of Gen McNair. 

73 (1) AGF ltr (C) to R&SC, 31 Dec 43, sub: Off Repl Pools. (2) AGF M/S (C), 15 Jan 44. Both in 
210.31/594 (C). 

71 (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 20 Dec 43, sub: Requisitions for Commissioned Pers. (2) AGF ltr to CGs, 20 Dec 

43, sub: Asgmt o£ Offs (except General Offs). Both in 210.31 / 5054. Amended by ltrs, same subjects, 4 Mar 

44. 210.31/5159. 

73 WD ltr (R) AG 320.2 (15 Jan 44) OB-S-C-M to CGs, 20 Jan 44, sub: Overstrength in Units in 
Continental U. S. 320.2/309 (R). 

"AGF 1st ind (R) to CGs, 10 Feb 44, on ltr cited in n. 75. 320.2/309 (R). 



concentrated in second lieutenants, these measures helped materially to reduce the 
pools and to promote the training of officer replacements in tactical units. 

For officers of the grades from first lieutenant through colonel, the distinction 
between organic assignment and attachment unassigned was further clarified. 77 
Officers of these grades, whether in pools or serving in units in excess of Tables of 
Organization (no longer as "overstrength," since overstrength in these grades 
was abolished), were considered to be attached unassigned. They became subject 
to immediate organic assignment to Table of Organization positions in other 
units. All units were obliged to requisition officers, in the prescribed grades and 
numbers, to fill their tabular requirements. If they failed to submit proper requisi- 
tions, the Replacement and School Command, or, for antiaircraft officers, the 
Antiaircraft Command, assigned the necessary officers nevertheless. The effect 
was to force a distribution of officers, by organic assignment in grade, through- 
out the units and establishments of the Ground Forces. An inefficient officer so 
assigned could not be passed from one organization to another. By 1944 a 
commander could rid himself of the unqualified only by instituting appropriate 

" (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 25 Jan 44, sub: Asgmt and Attachment of Offs. 210.31/5111. (2) AGF memo 
for G-i WD, 29 Jan 44, sub: Rpt on Offs Required by DCofS in WD Gen Council Min, 27 Dec 43. 
210.31/1308 (S). 

III. Problems of Redistribution 
and Replacement, 

The end of 1943 marked the termination of a major phase in the officer pro- 
curement program. Until that time the program had been geared to the require- 
ments of mobilization. The chief determinant of the scope of the program had 
been the number of units to be activated; the chief guide to the pace of the 
program had been the rate of mobilization as indicated in successive revisions of 
the Troop Basis. The major problems had been, in 1942, to secure enough officers 
to supply the great numbers of units activated in that year, and, in 1943, to 
balance officer production against requirements as mobilization slowed down 
and the distribution of strength among combat arms was more firmly deter- 
mined. As indicated above, one major result of the attempts to handle these 
problems was the production of a large surplus of officers in the Army Ground 
Forces by the end of 1943. 

Increasingly thereafter the officer procurement program was directed toward 
providing replacements in such numbers and at such times as were required to 
maintain existing units at full strength. Officers had of course been shipped 
overseas as loss replacements throughout 1943, but the number so used had been 
small compared with the number assigned to units in training. 

Passage from a mobilization to a replacement basis involved for officer 
procurement certain of the same shifts found necessary when the provision of 
enlisted replacements underwent a similar reorientation. The most critical of 
these was the change in branch requirement rates. During mobilization, distribu- 
tion of officer requirements among the seven combat branches had been condi- 
tioned by the rate of expansion of each arm and by the backlog of officers available 
in the Regular and Reserve components. For the newer branches, especially 
Antiaircraft, in which many units were formed where none had existed before 
and in which there was almost no reserve of officers, procurement requirements 
had been very high — almost as high for Antiaircraft as for Infantry. Once mobili- 
zation had been completed, the distribution of requirements among the arms was 
governed almost entirely by the rate of attrition, in which combat loss was the 



critical factor. There was no correspondence between battle casualty rates in a 
particular branch and the earlier rate of expansion. In the Antiaircraft and Tank 
Destroyer branches, where the need for officers had been relatively high during 
1942 and 1943, the requirement for replacements was very low. As with enlisted 
replacements, the demand for officer replacements was concentrated in the 
Infantry, which suffered the greatest proportionate loss. A major redistribution 
of officer production capacity — in effect, OCS capacity — was required as mobili- 
zation gave way to maintenance of units at effective strength. The severity of this 
redistribution was intensified by a number of factors not related to the general 
transition. Troop Basis cutbacks in certain branches, notably Antiaircraft and 
Tank Destroyer, by reducing the number of positions in these arms reduced 
further their lowered replacement requirements. At the same time officers made 
surplus by these Troop Basis changes were available for use as replacements in 
other arms, thus further lowering the OCS production requirement in the arms 
affected. In general it was in the branches which had been most inflated by 
rapid expansion during mobilization — Antiaircraft and Tank Destroyer — and 
those in which loss replacement rates were relatively low, that these Troop Basis 
cutbacks were made. The net effect was greatly to intensify the problems involved 
in shifting from a mobilization to a replacement basis. 

This shift was fortunately not complicated for officer procurement, as it was 
for enlisted replacements, by sharp changes in the requirements rates for different 
types of specialists. Although a military occupational specialty classification was 
developed for officers, it was never a dominant influence in providing replace- 
ments. 1 Branch and rank were the real determinants ; an infantry lieutenant was 
presumed to be qualified to lead any sort of infantry platoon. To be sure, demands 
for certain types of highly trained specialists had to be met, but these were never 
large enough to create a real problem in setting up the procurement program. A 
difficulty did arise from the concentration of requirements for officer replace- 
ments in the grade of lieutenant. Very few captains and almost no field officers 
were desired as replacements. Overseas commanders naturally preferred to 
receive replacements in the lowest grades and to promote within their organiza- 
tions. Since the output of officer candidate schools, the chief source of replace- 
ments, was in the grade of lieutenant, overseas demands and continental sources 
were generally in line with one another. But there were large numbers of captains 
and field-grade officers on duty in Zone of Interior installations of the Ground 
Forces, required by War Department and AGF directives to serve overseas, for 

1 Statement of Col W. S. Renshaw, G-i AGF, to AGF Hist Off, 1 1 Sep 45. 



whom no need existed. Sent abroad, these men tended to accumulate in pools, 
where they often remained for months. Left in the United States they were a 
useless charge against authorized replacement pool capacity. Army Ground 
Forces took the position that overseas theaters should have been required to 
accept a quota of replacements in each rank. 2 

By the end of 1944 this situation had been reversed, at least in the Infantry. 
The shortage of field-grade officers was more critical than the shortage of lieu- 
tenants. Regimental and battalion commanders were needed in large numbers 
for combat duty ; field officers were required for the expansion of the replacement 
system in the United States, and demand for rotational replacements and officers 
for special details was high. Drain on the Zone of Interior was severe. One 
division departing for overseas in late 1944 was 50 percent below strength in 
infantry lieutenant colonels. As late as April 1945, infantry replacement centers 
were operating with only 65 percent of the authorized strength in lieutenant 
colonels. 3 

Redistribution within the Ground Arms 

Transition from the provision of officers for mobilization to provision of 
officer replacements was complicated also by the necessity of coping during much 
of 1944 with a problem left over from the mobilization period: the surplus of 
officers in certain of the ground arms, chiefly Antiaircraft, Coast Artillery 
(harbor defense), and Tank Destroyer. The mere existence of a surplus of officers, 
though serious in view of the impending general overstrength of the Army, 
would not have been alarming if the excess officers could have been put directly 
to use as replacements. But excesses were heaviest in the arms whose replacement 
requirements were lowest. On 31 March 1944 the overstrength in antiaircraft 
officers was sufficient to furnish 21 months' supply of replacements at rates then 
estimated; there were enough coast artillery (harbor defense) officers to pro- 
vide replacements for 44.7 months. The surplus of officers in the Infantry, on the 
other hand, would supply replacements for only 1.5 months. 4 The elimination of 
the large surplus of officers was therefore essentially a problem of redistributing 

' AGF study (S), 13 Jan 45, sub: Off O'seas Repl System. 327.3/114 (SS)(S). The study was presented 
to the War Department committee investigating the replacement system on 13 June 1945. 

" AGF M/S (S), Maj Meyer, Inf Br, G-i, to Col Seaman, ExO, G-I, 3 Dec 45, sub: Study No. 6 in the 
History of the Army Ground Forces. 314.7 (AGF Hist)(S). 

'Tab A to WD memo (R) WDGAP 210.31 for DCofS USA, 18 Mar 44, sub: Status of Off Repl Pools. 
AGO Records (R). 



officer strength in the ground arms in such a way as to facilitate the provision of 

Wholesale redistribution of officers began in February 1944. Since the Infan- 
try, Field Artillery, and Armored branches were those in which the heaviest 
replacement needs were anticipated, conversion courses were established in the 
service schools of these arms. 5 Lasting for eight weeks (ten weeks at the Field 
Artillery School), the courses retrained company-grade officers — predominantly 
lieutenants — of the branches in which unusable surpluses existed. Actually, the 
anticipated replacement needs in the Field Artillery and Armored branches did 
not immediately materialize. The Armored conversion course was suspended 
after graduating one class ; the Field Artillery course operated at a low level until 
the fall of 1944. Indeed, more than 1,000 officers of these two branches were 
converted to Infantry in the summer of 1944. 

Initially the conversion program was confined almost entirely to antiaircraft 
officers, of which there was the most embarrassing surplus. Between February 
and the end of April, 2,618 antiaircraft officers were ordered to the Special Basic 
(conversion) Course at the Infantry School. KSee Table No. 4^ In April the 
conversion program was extended to accomplish a general dissolution of sur- 
pluses in all the ground arms. It was planned to convert 4,700 officers to Infantry 
in order to effect a proper distribution of strength. These were to be divided 
among the other arms as follows: Tank Destroyer, 600; Field Artillery, 1,100; 
Coast Artillery (harbor defense), 1,200; and Antiaircraft Artillery, 1,800. Since 
officers in Cavalry and Armored were in relatively short supply, it was not 
planned to make any conversions from these arms. 6 

On 27 May 1944 the War Department directed that the conversion of officers 
to Infantry continue at a rate of 1,000 per month. 7 During June this quota was 
exceeded, 1,604 officers being enrolled in the Infantry Special Basic Course. Sub- 
stantial inroads having been made on the surplus of antiaircraft officers, con- 
version of officers in Field Artillery and Armored was accelerated in June and 

s (i) AGF Iff to CGs, 9 Feb' 44, sub: Establishment of Basic Courses to Implement the Conversion of 
CAC AA Offs to Inf and Armd Comds. 352.1 1/501. (2) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 21 Feb 44, sub: Establish- 
ment of Special Basic Course at FA Sch. 352.1 1/4 (FA Sch). 

' (1) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 8 Apr 44, sub: Continuation of Prog to Convert Surplus Lieutenants to Inf. 
(2) AGF ltr to CGs, 7 May 44, sub as in (1). Both in 352/922 (Inf Sch). 

' WD ltr AGOT-S-Vfr>GAP 352 (24 May 44) to CG AGF, 27 May 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/408 
(Inf OCS). 




Enrollment of Officers of Other Branches in 
Officers' Special Basic Course, Infantry School, 1944 

Source of Officers 








Cav I 

if Vol 





February. . . 


























.. 1 












August .... 













October . . . 














December . 















8 J 1 

2 1,175 


Source: Data in Files of Control Div, G-l Sec, Hq AGF. 

July, since it had been estimated that there were 500 officers in each of these arms 
above replacement requirements. 8 

Although surpluses had by no means been entirely liquidated, it became 
clear by July that conversion of officers to Infantry could not be maintained at a 
rate of 1,000 per month. Overhead and training facilities at the Infantry School 
were badly needed for the expansion, recently ordered by the War Department, 
of the officer candidate school. In addition, new AGF estimates of officer 
resources and requirements indicated that the sources of supply were drying up. 
A study reflecting the officer situation as of 1 July 1944 projected, for the period 
until 30 June 1945, a net total of only about 800 officers who would be available 
and qualified for transfer to combat infantry duty. It was felt that precipitate 
conversions would be imprudent in view of possible shifts in loss requirements 
among the arms. Army Ground Forces recommended that the 1,000-a-month 
objective be given up and that excess officers be converted in such numbers as 
became available. On 25 July the War Department approved the recom- 
mendation. 9 

* (1) AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 13 Jun 44, sub: Continuation of Prog to Convert Surplus Lieutenants to 
Inf. (2) AGFltr toCGs, 19 Jun 44, sub as in (1). Both in 352/922 (Inf Sch). 

' (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 19 Jul 44, sub: Conversion of Offs to Inf. (2) AGF M/S, G—i to 
CofS, 17 Jul 44, sub as in (1). (3) WD 1st ind (S) AGOT-S-A [2] 10.31 (19 Jul 44), on (1) above, 25 
Jul 44. All in 352/124 (S). 



The calculations underlying this recommendation proved to be conservative. 
Monthly quotas for conversion were indeed reduced, never again reaching the 
levels set during the first half of the year, but an average of about 750 a month 
was maintained from July through November. Of these an appreciable number 
were volunteers for infantry duty, mainly from outside the Ground Forces. By 
the end of the year 9,577 officer s had been enrolled in the infantry conversion 
course and 8,590 had graduated. |(See Table No. 4. 

Not all officers converted in the Ground Forces attended one of the special 
retraining courses. Approximately 10 percent of those converted were transferred 
to another arm directly, learning their new duties on the job. Nor did all the 
conversions take place in the United States. About 3,000 officers, chiefly Antiair- 
craft and Tank Destroyer, were converted to Infantry in overseas theaters. 10 

By the branch redistribution of officers during 1944, total officer resources 
were brought into more realistic adjustment with officer requirements. This 
change is illustrated by the following comparison of commissioned strengths of 
the Infantry and Coast Artillery (antiaircraft and harbor defense) in January 
1944 and in January 1945 : n 

Date Infantry Coast Artillery (AA & HD) 

31 January 1944 80,331 37,383 

31 January 1945 91.269 24,835 

What was more important in the immediate situation was that converted officers 
were usable as overseas replacements during the months of low production in the 
officer candidate schools. The conversion program, which began primarily as a 
device for eliminating an embarrassing surplus of antiaircraft officers, became an 
indispensable part of the procurement program during 1944. 

The Procurement Situation in Early 1944 

Procurement of new officers posed problems during 1944 even more difficult 
than those of redistribution. One problem was the adjustment of existing produc- 
tion facilities, which had been based on the branch distribution of officer require- 
ments for mobilization, to the distinctly different distribution of requirements for 
combat replacements. Once the procurement machine was adjusted to its new 
function it became necessary to recruit candidates in sufficient numbers to keep 
the machine running at planned capacity. 

10 Statement of Maj W. Meyer, Inf Br, AGF G-i Sec, to AGF Hist Off, 17 Sep 45. 

11 From statistical reports compiled by Ground Statistics Sec, Hq AGF. 



During the first five months of 1944 — as final preparations for the assault 
on the European Continent were completed — the AGF officer candidate system 
fell to its lowest point of productivity since 1941. The low productive level to 
which the system had been allowed to sink by June 1944 was in large measure 
responsible for a continuous crisis in officer procurement that characterized the 
latter half of 1944 and the early months of 1945. It must be borne in mind that 
the officer candidate schools were not flexible or quickly responsive to demands 
for increased production. A minimum of eight months elapsed between a decision 
to increase output of candidates and the availability of officers for use as overseas 
replacements: one to two months in publication of quotas and selection and 
delivery of candidates to school, four months in school, and three months in 
commissioned service prior to shipment overseas. Once school enrollment 
dropped to very low levels for a period of four months, sudden large demands 
for officers had to be met from other sources. Three such sources were available 
and all were used in 1944. One was the branch pool of surplus officers. Another 
was the surplus officer personnel of branches who could be transferred to other 
branches in which demand was heavy. The third source was provided by the 
appointment of officers overseas. During the earlier part of 1944, when OCS out- 
put was insufficient to meet overseas demands, the first two of these sources took 
up the slack. Later in 1944, when it was discovered that the maximum OCS 
output obtainable in the United States was too small, increasing reliance was 
placed on overseas appointments. 

Several influences combined to permit production in officer candidate 
schools to decline sharply between the cessation of output of officer fillers and the 
resumption of production for replacement purposes. The thinking of those 
responsible for establishing OCS quotas was doubtless influenced by earlier 
conditions of officer procurement. Accustomed to gauging officer needs in terms 
of Troop Basis augmentations, they naturally concluded, late in 1943, that since 
no additions to the ground Troop Basis were in prospect officer candidate school 
production should taper off. This carry-over from the period of mobilization was 
intensified by the existence of a large surplus of officers in late 1943. It was a 
surplus ample to cover the only current overseas replacement requirement — the 
pool of 18,500 officers directed by the War Department in March 1943. In addition 
to the replacement pool, more than 10,000 ground arms officers were surplus in 
the latter part of the year. With all anticipated replacement requirements more 
than provided for, and with large calls for replacements still a future concern, it 
was not unnatural to think in terms of reducing the OCS establishment to a 

i 3 8 


stand-by level. This was all the more natural in view of the severe problems that 
the officer surplus had generated in 1943, as well as the strong criticism levelled 
at Army Ground Forces by The Inspector General for its handling of the surplus. 
The overproduction of officers that had plagued Army Ground Forces in 1943 
had to be avoided in 1944. The surplus that had caused so much trouble seemed 
to provide insurance against overseas demands. Officer strength appeared to be 
suffering chiefly from maldistribution: there were far too many officers in 
Antiaircraft and Tank Destroyer, and large cutbacks were current or impending 
in those branches. Conversion of these officers to arms in which they could be 
used would build up a backlog against overseas demands and eke out the low 
production of the officer candidate schools. 

In September, since the 1944 Troop Basis gave no indication of further 
expansion in the ground arms, the Chief of Staff, Army Ground Forces, sug- 
gested that the Cavalry, Coast Artillery, Armored, and Tank Destroyer Officer 
Candidate Schools might be eliminated. 12 No decision was made, but on 26 
October, when the December quotas were announced, no personnel were allotted 
to the Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, or Coast Artillery Schools. The February 1944 
quotas were the last for the Antiaircraft School. With the graduation of classes 
then in session, these four schools closed — Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, and Coast 
Artillery in March, Antiaircraft in June. The Armored School was scheduled to 
close in September ; its fate will be discussed below. In the schools that remained 
open, the total monthly quotas dwindled from 1,283 in December 1943 to 986 in 
May 1944. (See Table No. 3.) 

The announcement by the War Department in March 1944 of officer candi- 
date school quotas for the period June-August signalized a major change in 
admininstrative policy with respect to officer procurement. As noted above, the 
War Department in March 1943 had granted the three major commands author- 
ity to establish OCS capacities and monthly entrance quotas. Thereafter Army 
Ground Forces set monthly quotas and maintained sufficient capacity to allow 
for emergency expansion. Without formally revoking this grant of authority, 
the War Department on 14 March directed Army Ground Forces to admit during 
June-August a maximum of 550 candidates monthly — 500 to the Infantry School 
and 50 to the Field Artillery School. 13 No such directive had been received from 
the War Department during the preceding year. In view of the reentrance of the 

"AGFM/S (C),Co£S to G-i, 24 Sep 43, sub: OCS. 352/143 (C). 

U WD ltr AGOT-S-WDGAP-A 352 (12 Mar 44) to CG AGF, 14 Mar 44, sub': AGF OCS Quota*. 
AGF G-i Sec files. 



War Department into a province over which it had been supreme, Army Ground 
Forces understood that its own responsibility for determining the number of 
candidates to be trained had been terminated. 14 

The role of Army Ground Forces after March 1944 was advisory. The War 
Department letter of 14 March directed Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, to 
submit by 1 June "the estimated officer procurement requirements of the Army 
Ground Forces" to cover losses through 30 June 1945, and to recommend OCS 
quotas for the last quarter of 1944. The estimates were to be based on War 
Department loss requirement data. Directives calling for similar studies and 
recommendations were received from the War Department from time to time in 
subsequent months. In each case Army Ground Forces was to secure loss require- 
ment data from the War Department, survey present officer strength and future 
needs, and recommend officer candidate capacities and entrance quotas. Thus 
after March 1944 Army Ground Forces influenced the program of officer 
procurement only indirectly. 

The War Department gave Army Ground Forces no formal statement of its 
reasons for resuming direct control. But the change was coincident with the shift 
in the focus of the procurement program from mobilization to overseas loss 
replacement. After March 1944 it became increasingly important to bring officer 
production in the United States into close coordination with officer strength, 
requirements, and production overseas. Lacking facilities for gathering accurate 
information on theater loss requirement rates and on officer appointments over- 
seas, Army Ground Forces was not capable of coordinating continental officer 
production with world-wide officer requirements and resources. It was felt at 
Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, that, since the War Department was 
presumably in a better position to relate Zone of Interior officer procurement to 
overseas demands, reversion to the War Department of control over OCS 
capacities was a step in the right direction. 15 

Officer Candidate Quotas, February-June 1944 

Even before resumption of control by the War Department, Army Ground 
Forces began a campaign, which was to continue during most of 1944, to lift the 
ceiling on procurement of officers through the candidate schools. On 2 February 
1944 Army Ground Forces submitted to the War Department its recommenda- 

"AGFM/S (S),G-i toCo£S,3 Apr 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/ 101 (OCS)(S). 
" Statement of Col W. S. Renshaw, G-i AGF, to AGF Hist Off, 11 Sep 45. 



tions on officer procurement for the year. 16 The principal officer requirements as 
fixed by the War Department were for units in the 1944 Troop Basis, for the War 
Department replacement pool of 18,500 which was to be maintained at that 
strength throughout the year (presumably in anticipation of 1945 requirements), 
and for the number of officers who, in accordance with War Department esti- 
mates, would be shipped overseas as replacements during 1944. The latter totaled 
20,400, of whom 13,700 were in Infantry. The sum of these requirements, bal- 
anced against officers on hand, those due to become available out of current OCS 
commitments, and those available for transfer between arms yielded a net 
requirement for 1944 of 804 officers in Infantry, all other arms balancing exactly. 
Under the assumptions used, all schools except that of the Infantry could be 
closed by 1 June 1944, and a monthly quota of 335 candidates would be admitted 
to the Infantry Officer Candidate School during June, July, and August. 

Army Ground Forces did not believe that the assumptions employed repre- 
sented a realistic appraisal of the prospects. The War Department estimate of 
1944 officer replacement requirements, according to the AGF viewpoint, was 
approximately 4,000 too low. The distribution of the overseas requirement to the 
ground arms was thought incorrect: the War Department estimated that 67 
percent of the requirement would be in Infantry ; Army Ground Forces estimated 
76 percent. The replacement pool of 18,500 likewise appeared to be distributed 
incorrectly, only 49 percent being allocated to the Infantry. A more serious 
weakness in the calculations seemed to be the failure to include replacement 
requirements for 1945 in procurement plans for 1944. Army Ground Forces 
pointed out that it took almost a year to produce an officer replacement; the 
process of selection and training in the United States required eight or nine 
months, and three months more elapsed before the new officer was available for 
active duty at the front. This time factor made it seem unwise on the one hand to 
close down officer candidate schools merely because there was no immediate 
demand for officers of certain arms, and imperative on the other hand to begin 
production early in 1944 to meet the estimated requirements of 1945. Specifically, 
Army Ground Forces recommended the production by the end of 1944 of a 
reserve of officers equal to the number to be shipped during 1944. The effect of 
all these recommendations would have been to increase the officer-procurement 
objective for 1944 to a net of 24,935 officers, all in Infantry. Army Ground Forces 
proposed to the War Department that if its recommendations were found 

"AGF memo (S) forCofSUSA, 2 Feb 44, sub: 1944 Off Requirements. 320.2/708 (Str)(S). 


I 4 I 

unacceptable the War Department should supply an officer-procurement 
objective for 1945. 

No direct action was taken on these recommendations. In March 1944 the 
War Department, as noted above, resumed its control of officer candidate policy. 
It also changed the existing system for providing officer replacements. Authoriza- 
tion for officer replacement pools, in effect since March 1943, was withdrawn. 
Only enough officers were to be retained in each arm to meet anticipated require- 
ments through 31 March 1945; all others were to be transferred to arms in which 
immediate use for them could be foreseen. 17 The War Department, while 
continuing in effect the low OCS quotas to which Army Ground Forces had 
objected in February, increased its previous estimate of officer requirements for 
1944 as follows: 18 

Infantry 25,000 

Armored 1,600 

Field Artillery 4,100 

Tank Destroyer 1,100 

Cavalry 1,500 

Coast Artillery (AA and HD) 2,100 

TOTAL 35.40° 

These estimates remained in effect for planning purposes until August 1944. 

AGF headquarters was convinced that the measures taken by the War 
Department would lead to a severe shortage of officers. On 5 April, bringing 
together observations on officer procurement gleaned from the experience of the 
preceding year, Army Ground Forces urged a great increase in OCS enrollment. 
Its study indicated that quotas now directed by the War Department would 
result in a shortage of 7,000 infantry officers by November 1944 and — if the 
low quotas were continued during the last quarter of 1944 — a shortage of 9,336 
infantry officers by March 1945. To avoid these consequences, Army Ground 
Forces recommended Infantry Officer Candidate School quotas of 3,800 per 

" (1) Par 2 of letter cited in n. 13 above. (2) AGF M/S (S), Control Div G-i to G-i, 14 Mar 44, 
sub: 1944 Off Requirements. AGF G-i Sec files (Renshaw) 71. (3) AGF M/S (S), G-i to G-3, 18 Mar 44, 
sub: OCS Program. AGF G-i Sec files (Renshaw) 66. 

15 (1) AGF M/S (S), Control Div G-i to G-i, 14 Mar 44, sub: 1944 Off Requirements. AGF G-i 
Sec files (Renshaw) 66. (2) Table of 1944 Off Repl Requirements from WD G-i. AGF G-i Sec files 
(Renshaw) 160. 



month during the period from May to August. 19 Since the War Department 
took no immediate action on this recommendation, Army Ground Forces, in 
setting quotas for May (the last month for which its responsibility over OCS 
production extended), followed the spirit of the War Department directive, 
cutting Field Artillery from 250 to 50 and setting Armored at 136 and Infantry at 
800 — a total of 986 for the month. 20 June quotas, announced on 3 May in accord- 
ance with the War Department directive, eliminated Armored, kept Field 
Artillery at 50, and cut Infantry down to 510. 21 

Army Ground Forces took steps in another direction to increase the 
number of officers available for overseas assignment. Since September 1943 Army 
Ground Forces had required three months of commissioned duty in a tactical 
unit as a prerequisite to overseas assignment. This was a more stringent require- 
ment than that imposed by the War Department, which called only for three 
months of commissioned service. By May 1944 it was evident that the number of 
infantry lieutenants who would become available each month under the AGF 
service requirement would not satisfy overseas calls at the prevailing level of 2,000 
a month. By changing the requirement of Army Ground Forces to the standard 
set by the War Department it was possible during the months of low OCS 
production from June through August to supply infantry lieutenants in the 
necessary numbers. 22 

Meanwhile Army Ground Forces had been preparing a study, ordered by 
the War Department in March, of officer procurement objectives and school 
capacities for the last quarter of the year. 23 This study, sent to the War Depart- 
ment on 1 June, was based on the revised 1944 Troop Basis, on War Department 
estimates of loss replacement requirements from 1 May 1944 through 30 June 
1945, and on current strength data. By 30 June 1945, the study indicated, there 
would be a net shortage of 13,466 officers in the ground arms, concentrated almost 
entirely in Infantry. Current surpluses in other arms would have to be converted 
in order to hold the shortage to this figure. Army Ground Forces recommended 

" (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 5 Apr 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/101 (OCS)(S). (2) Incl 
to memo cited in (1). AGF G-i Sec files (Renshaw). (3) AGF M/S (S), G-i to CofS, 3 Apr 44, sub as 
in (1). 352/101 (OCS)(S). 

20 AGF Itrs to CGs AA Comd and R&SC, 5 Apr 44, sub: OCS Quotas for May 1944. 352/506 (OCS). 

" AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 3 May 44, sub: OCS Quotas for June 1944. 352/508 (OCS). 

" (1) AGF M/S, G-i to CofS, 13 May 44, sub: Inf Repl Offs. (2) AGF TWX to CGs, 20 May 44- 
Both in 210.31/27 (O'seas Repl Deps). 

"AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 1 Jun 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/103 (OCS)(S).. 



two alternatives. If loss replacement requirements, currently estimated by the 
War Department at 2,083 P er month, 24 were to be met wholly from Zone of 
Interior OCS production, it would be necessary to increase Infantry quotas to 
3,860 per month for the period 1 July to 30 October 1944. If, on the other hand, 
the disposition to curtail OCS operations indicated in the War Department's 
March directive remained paramount, the War Department would have to 
increase the number of direct commissions overseas, thereby reducing loss- 
replacement demands on the Zone of Interior. 

While these recommendations were in preparation the War Department 
sharply increased Infantry Officer Candidate School quotas for June. On 27 May 
Army Ground Forces was directed to enter 1,600 Infantry candidates during 
June, a 100-percent increase over the quota for May. In addition, the War Depart- 
ment directed Army Ground Forces to continue converting officers of other 
arms to Infantry, at a rate of not less than 1,000 per month. 25 

The receipt, four days after this action, of AGF's prediction of an imminent 
shortage of officers prompted the War Department to authorize an even greater 
increase in infantry training capacity. The AGF letter of 1 June urged monthly 
quotas of 3,860 at the Infantry Officer Candidate School. The War Department 
ordered the Infantry OCS quotas for the period 1 July to 31 October increased to 
3,200 a month. 26 This doubled the monthly input ordered on 27 May for June 
and increased by 640 percent the quotas set in March for the period June-August. 
Three reasons were cited by G-i of the War Department for this abrupt reversal 
of its earlier position on officer procurement. Combat appointments overseas had 
proved to be far below the number forecast in March. Replacement shipments 
had exceeded over-all loss replacement estimates and could not be curtailed until 
the revised system of personnel accounting recently inaugurated by the War 
Department became effective. Establishment of the detachment of patients as a 
Troop Basis accounting device for handling hospitalized personnel had in effect 
authorized 12,000 additional officers. 27 

M (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 12 Aug 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. (2) WD D/F WDGAP 352 
OCS to CG AGF, 23 Aug 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. Both in 352/105 (OCS)(S). 

" WD ltr AGOT-S-WDGAP 352 (24 May 44) to CG AGF, 27 May 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/408 
(Inf OCS). 

"WD ltr AGOT-S-A 352 (7 Jun 44) to CG AGF, 10 Jun 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/105 


27 WD G-i memo (S) WDGAP 352 OCS o£ Lt Col Haywood for Gen White, 7 Jun 44, sub: AGF OCS 
Quotas. WD G-i files. 



The War Department did not at this time make any change in the capacity 
of the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School; monthly input was to remain at 
50 per month, as set in March. But other changes in the replacement system were 
forecast. Army Ground Forces was directed to submit by 5 September a study 
on future officer procurement, including recommendations on the Cavalry, 
Antiaircraft, Tank Destroyer, and Armored Officer Candidate Schools, which 
the War Department now thought it might be necessary to reopen to meet future 
replacement requirements. Another change involved officer replacement pools. 
In March the authorization of a pool of 18,500, in effect since early 1943, had 
been withdrawn, wholesale conversions being directed to match officer strength 
with requirements. On 10 June a War Department memorandum directed Army 
Ground Forces to include a pool of 10,000 officers in future planning. This 
provision was elaborated on 7 July, when authorized replacement pool capacities 
were established as follows : 28 


1 October 1944 

1 January 1945 





Field Artillery 








Coast Artillery (HD^ 












Tank Destroyer 








The immediate effect of the reestablishment of replacement pools was to increase 
greatly the requirement for officers. Reflecting this increase, the AGF study of 
officer procurement prepared in September called for another augmentation of 
the monthly input at the candidate schools. The probable future requirements 
for officers of all arms which the pool capacities suggested led Army Ground 
Forces on 7 July to direct that stand-by capacities be maintained at fairly high 
levels in all officer candidate schools, even in those not operating currently. 29 
While the AGF officer candidate schools closed in the spring of 1944 were 
not reopened, the Armored Officer Candidate School, previously scheduled to be 
suspended on 23 September, remained in operation. An interim class was started 

" WD Itr (R) AGPO-A-WDGAP 210.31 (29 Jun 44) to CG AGF, 7 Jul 44, sub: Establishment of 
Off Repl Pools. 210.31/355 (R). 

"AGF ltr (C) to CGs R&SC and AAC, 7 Jul 44, sub: Projected Minimum Capacities of OCSs. 

352/305 (C). 


in September in order to keep the facilities in operation. 30 Tank Destroyer and 
Mechanized Cavalry officer candidate training was resumed in November 1944. 
Anticipated requirements for officers of these two arms being too small to justify 
maintenance of separate schools, their officer candidate schools were combined 
with the Armored Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox, each class containing 
a proportion of candidates of the three branches. 31 

The Search for Candidates, June-December 1944 

The establishment of larger officer candidate school quotas was only a neces- 
sary preliminary to solution of the replacement problem. The solution itself 
depended on filling the quotas and training the candidates. Army Ground 
Forces, having won its campaign for an increase in quotas, now found that candi- 
dates were not available in sufficient numbers to fill the quotas. After June 1944 
a vigorous publicity campaign was launched — reminiscent in all essentials of the 
campaign in the autumn of 1942 — to find officer candidates. The campaign 
failed, largely because of the departure from AGF control of units from which 
candidates could be drawn. It became necessary after September to depend on 
War Department action to supply candidates from the Army at large in the 
United States and, increasingly as deployment overseas continued, from the 
combat theaters. 32 

Difficulties in finding suitable candidates were anticipated as soon as the War 
Department authorized quotas of 3,200 at the Infantry School for June, July, 
and August. On 10 June Army Ground Forces instructed its commanders to give 
the candidate program the widest possible publicity, enjoining them to encourage 
actively applications even by men whose "work is important or replacement 
difficult." 83 In view of the scheduled suspension of all except Infantry and Field 
Artillery Candidate Schools, and of the small quotas for the latter, Ground 
Forces personnel of noninfantry units were to be encouraged to apply for the 
Infantry Officer Candidate School. 

M (1) AGF M/S, CofS to CG, 4 Aug 44, sub: OCSs. AGF G-i Sec files (Renshaw). (2) AGF memo (C) 
for CofS USA, 16 Aug 44, sub: Retention of Armd OCS. 352/320 (C). (3) WD 1st ind (C) AGOT-S-A 
352 (16 Aug 44), 28 Aug 44, on memo cited in (2). 352/320 (C). 

51 (1) Pars 3 b and 5 b of AGF memo (S) for TAG, 6 Sep 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/105 
(OCS)(S). (2) Par 2, WD ltr (R) AGOT-S-A 352 (3 Oct 44) to CG AGF, 11 Oct 44, sub: AGF OCS 
Quotas and Repl Pool Capacities. 352/7 (OCS)(R). 

" Statement of Col W. S. Renshaw, G-i AGF, to AGF Hist Off, 1 1 Sep 45. 

" AGF TWX to CGs, to Jun 44. 352/4" (Inf OCS). 



This campaign met with only indifferent success. The sources of officer 
candidates in the Ground Forces were rapidly drying up. Most of the ROTC 
students had been entered in school by June 1944. The number of candidates 
returned from overseas, never more than a slender trickle, could not be increased 
greatly; because of uncertainties of transportation they could not be counted 
on in any case until they had arrived in the United States. The principal sources 
of officer material were therefore the replacement training centers and tactical 
units under AGF control in the United States. Candidates in large numbers 
could doubtless have been drawn from the replacement centers, but this course 
was not entirely desirable. During the first six months of 1944 replacement pro- 
duction had passed through a series of upheavals, from which the program was 
only now emerging. Demands for enlisted replacements overseas were no less 
urgent than demands for officer replacements ; it was not desirable to supply the 
latter at the expense of the former. A more fundamental objection to using 
replacement training centers as the chief source for meeting expanded candidate 
calls was the relative inexperience of men in the centers. In 1944 these men were 
generally young and had had only four months' training; it was believed that 
they would be less valuable for training as combat-officer replacements than men 
of greater maturity and military experience. 34 

The main burden in supplying candidates to fill the swollen quotas after 
June fell on the tactical units still in the United States. Units, which had been 
allowed to send only 244 men to the Infantry Officer Candidate School in June, 
were asked to supply 2,234 candidates in July and a peak of 2,545 m October. 
(See Table No. 5-]| Circumstances less propitious for releasing large numbers of 
well-trained enlisted men could scarcely have been imagined than those in which 
units, especially divisions, found themselves during the latter half of 1944. Since 
late 1943, divisions had been plucked repeatedly to provide enlisted replacements. 
In March and April they had received infusions of new blood — air cadets, and 
men from the ASTP and replacement training centers. Forming these recruits 
into tactical teams was a major preoccupation during the summer of 1944. The 
experienced men left in the divisions were badly needed to conduct this essential 
training; they could ill be spared for officer candidate training. It was no won- 
der that commanders did not respond readily to pleas that even men whose 
"work was critical or whose replacement was difficult" be sent to officer 
candidate schools. 

M AGF M/S (R), G-3 to G-i, 20 Nov 44, sub: OCS Quotas. 352/64 (OCS) (R). 



Difficulties connected with training were not the only cause of failure of 
units to meet quotas. Units were being alerted and shipped overseas in ever 
increasing numbers in the latter half of 1944. In July the strength of units arriv- 
ing at ports of embarkation was about 70,000, in August 112,000. Shipments in 
September totaled 140,000 men in 385 units, including 9 divisions The peak was 


Distribution of Infantry OCS Quotas Among Major 
Categories, June 1944-February 1945 

Year and 






Total Infantry 
OCS Quotas 

























































Source: AGF quota ltrs in 352 (OCS) diagonals 508, 529, 532, and 539, and in 
352 (inf OCS) diagonals 412, 415, and 429. 

reached in October, with the shipment of 150,000 men in 393 units, including 5 
divisions. 35 Obviously, when units left the country they were lost to Army 
Ground Forces as sources of candidates. But the date of shipment was in fact not 
the date when this loss occurred. It had long been the practice to freeze the person- 
nel of a unit when, usually from one to three months before actual departure, it 
received orders alerting it for overseas shipment. Army Ground Forces attempted 
to set this precedent aside on 15 July 1944 when it issued instructions permitting 
the selection of candidates from alerted units. 36 But this solution, if it ameliorated 
the situation — and there is no evidence that it did — was merely temporary. A 
revision of AR 625-5, published on 12 September, forbade selection of candidates 

"Statistics compiled from AGF Stat Sec Rpt No. 19 (S), "AGF Units Arriving at PE." 

"(i) AGF ltrs to CGs, 15 Jul 44, sub: Selection of Officer Candidates from Alerted Units. (2) AGF 
M/S, G-i to CofS, 10 Jul 44, sub: OCs. Both in 352/520 (OCS). 



from alerted units. 37 Army Ground Forces reversed its July instructions. 38 Hence- 
forth men in units were unavailable as candidates during considerable periods 
before they actually left the country. 

By September it was clear that Army Ground Forces could not meet Infantry 
OCS quotas of 3,200 a month from its own resources. The departure of units from 
the United States would soon leave the replacement training centers as the prin- 
cipal source of candidates, a source thought undesirable for reasons already 
stated. Army Ground Forces, in its recommendations of 6 September on future 
OCS operations, suggested that the pressure be taken off the Zone of Interior in 
procurement of officers. Two alternative courses were outlined. One was to reduce 
Zone of Interior monthly OCS quotas to 1,750, for an estimated output of 1,312, 
and to seek to obtain 2,081 a month by overseas appointment, for a monthly total 
of 3,393, the number now believed necessary. If this division of production 
between the Zone of Interior and the theaters should not be feasible, Army 
Ground Forces recommended that theater commanders be directed to return to 
the United States their proportionate shares of monthly OCS quotas, based on 
theater strength. 39 

The War Department had undertaken on 18 August to determine the extent 
to which the theaters could furnish their own officer replacements. Theater com- 
manders were sounded out on a proposal to curtail, after February 1945, officer 
candidate schools in the United States to levels which would provide officers for 
the Zone of Interior only. Overseas replacements would be furnished until March 
1945; thereafter theaters would supply their own needs. 40 While reaction from 
the theaters was being awaited, quotas for November had to be fixed. Those for 
October, set on 31 August, were the last of the 3,200 series." 11 On 26 September the 
War Department, recognizing the difficulties of Army Ground Forces in finding 
candidates, and promising an early increase in the number of overseas appoint- 
ments, established OCS quotas for November at somewhat lower levels. 42 The 
Infantry Officer Candidate School was to receive 2,000 candidates ; Field Artillery, 
150; and Armored (including also Tank Destroyer and Mechanized Cavalry), 

" Par 9 d, AR 625-5, WD, 12 Sep 44. 

" (1) Par 4, AGF Wldy Dir 42, 17 Oct 44. (2) M/R, C&RD, AGF, 17 Oct 44, sub: Selection of OCs 
from Alerted Units. 352/536 (OCS). 

" AGF memo (S) for TAG USA, 6 Sep 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/105 (OCS)(S). 

"WD TWX (C), WARX 89177, 18 Aug 44, to Theater Comdrs. 

a AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 31 Aug 44, sub: Quotas for AGF OCSs for the Month of Oct 44. 352/529 (OCS). 
** WD ltr AGOT-S-A 352 (20 Sep 44) to CG AGF, 26 Sep 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/532 (OCS). 


I 49 

150. These quotas amounted to 550 more candidates than Army Ground Forces 
in its memorandum of 6 September had forecast that it could provide. 

Army Ground Forces was hard-pressed. There was no backlog of accepted 
candidates, and procurement was on a hand-to-mouth basis. On 25 September, 
when informed of the War Department's November quotas, Army Ground 
Forces still had to obtain 13 Infantry OCS classes, or 2,600 candidates, for 
entrance in October. The only candidates available were 300 from armored and 
100 from field artillery units. Because of the poor response from unit com- 
manders, approximately 40 percent of recent OCS quotas had been filled from 
the replacement training centers. The high rate of failures in the candidate 
schools indicated that much of the material uncovered was below standard. An 
analysis of five recent classes showed that 45 percent of the men enrolled had 
been relieved. 43 Aside from a lowering of quality, this rate of failure threatened 
to compromise estimates of output, which had been based on an anticipated 
failure of 20 percent of each candidate class. Though the causes were somewhat 
different, the effects were those observed in late 1942: last-minute urgent calls for 
officers exceeded the available supply of qualified candidates ; to fill quotas poor 
candidates had to be accepted ; these failed in large numbers, the original program 
was only partly fulfilled, units were bereft of good noncommissioned officers, 
and other units received mediocre officers or disgruntled rejects. 

Army Ground Forces again sought to enlist the active support of its subordi- 
nate units and installations. On 26 September commanders were directed to give 
full publicity to the program and to encourage all qualified men to apply, 
regardless of the arm in which they were serving or the difficulty of replacing 
them. Commanders were now told to lay less stress on leadership ability as a 
condition of acceptance. "No application," the memorandum stated, "will be 
rejected solely because he [the candidate] has not had the opportunity to actually 
demonstrate leadership ability." 44 This tolerance of lower standards was remi- 
niscent of the decision, taken in a similar crisis in 1942, to award commissions for 
administrative duty. 

But the situation was too far gone to be repaired. By early October Army 
Ground Forces had decided that after November it should stop providing candi- 
dates entirely. On 6 October it recommended to the War Department that the 
entire December OCS quota be filled by men then serving overseas. 45 Approxi- 

41 AGF M/S (S), G-i to CofS, 25 Sep 44, sub: OCSs. 352/335 (C). 

u AGF ltr (C) to CGs, 27 Sep 44, sub: Off Candidate Program. 352/335 (C). 

" (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 6 Oct 44, sub: Off Candidate Quotas. (2) AGF M/S, CofS to 
G-i, 5 Oct 44, sub: OCS Quota for December. Both in 352/107 (OCS)(S). 


mately 60 percent of ground combat personnel was overseas, while on the basis 
of past performance it could be expected that only 6 percent of quotas would be 
filled from overseas sources. By December it was anticipated that almost all AGF 
units would be deployed or alerted. Army Ground Forces did not wish to use 
the replacement training centers as the major source of combat officers. 

The War Department could not suspend Zone of Interior production of 
overseas officer replacements immediately. In August it had proposed to theater 
commanders that beginning in March 1945 they supply replacement needs from 
their own resources. Theater commanders had agreed to the proposal on the 
understanding that replacements would continue to come from the United 
States until March. 46 In the long run this plan would have put officer procure- 
ment on a world-wide basis, utilizing fully the resources of theaters as well as 
those of the Zone of Interior. But it did not promise the immediate relief that 
Army Ground Forces, squeezed between high OCS quotas and a dwindling 
number of troop units, required. The War Department had to ensure a steady 
flow of replacements overseas through February 1945 and, to guard against 
unforeseen contingencies, for months thereafter. Sources of officer material 
remaining in the United States had to be utilized. Monthly quotas for December 
through February, set by the War Department on 1 1 October, while well below 
total requirements for loss replacements, were far above the ability of Army 
Ground Forces to sustain. The new quotas were somewhat higher than those 
for November: Infantry, 2,000; Field Artillery, 200; and Armored (Tank 
Destroyer and Mechanized Cavalry), 250. 47 |(See Table No. 3/ Tactical units 

were still carrying the load ; they were given quotas of 1,200 to fill in November. 48 
Although less than half the quota assigned to units for October classes, this 
figure was still far too large. On 28 October, no answer having been received 
from the War Department to the AGF proposal that all quotas after November 
be filled from sources outside Army Ground Forces, the Chief of Staff, Army 
Ground Forces, secured a compromise from the War Department. In the future 
Army Ground Forces was to supply candidates to the limit of its capabilities, the 
War Department was to supply an additional number, and the theaters were to 

" (1) WD TWX (C), WARX 89177, 18 Aug 44, to Theater Comdrs. (2) TWX (C) USAFFE to WD, 
CM-IN 5663, 7 Sep 44. (3) TWX (C), ComZ ETO to WD, CM-IN 24612, 26 Sep 44. 

" (1) WD Itr (R) AGOT-S-A 352 (3 Oct 44) to CG AGF, 11 Oct 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas and 
Repl Pool Capacities. 352/7 (OCS)(R). (2) AGF ltrs (C) to CGs R&SC and AAC, 5 Oct 44, sub: Off 
Candidate Capacities. 352/342 (C). 

" AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 5 Oct 44, sub: Quotas for AGF OCSs for the Month of Nov 44. 352/532 (OCS). 


be required to make up the remainder of their requirements. 49 It was estimated 
that the Ground Forces could provide 700 candidates per month — 600 for the 
Infantry and 50 each for the Field Artillery and Armored Schools. 50 In quota 
letters issued after 1 November, for classes in December and the months follow- 
ing, commands under AGF control were allotted 700 places in officer candidate 
schools, of which the majority (600) were given to the replacement training 
centers. The Adjutant General was assigned the bulk of each quota (1,750) to 
be filled from continental sources outside the Ground Forces. 51 

The procurement program had thus been brought, so far as the Army 
Ground Forces was concerned, into balance with resources. Quotas for units 
dropped from an impossible 1,440 in November to a realistic 50 in December. But 
the program as a whole continued to be out of balance. The War Department 
acted to increase overseas appointments, to divert applicants for Army Air Forces 
and Army Service Forces schools to Ground Forces schools, to increase applica- 
tions among returning rotational personnel, and to encourage applications among 
men in inactive theaters. 52 Overseas appointments showed a moderate increase 
in early 1945. [^See Table No. 7.] ) Other measures taken to recruit candidates 
outside the jurisdiction of Army Ground Forces brought only the most meager 
response. Early in December The Adjutant General estimated that he could 
supply only 300 candidates each month, including those returned from overseas. 
With monthly input capacity at 2,450, a shortage of 1,450 candidates per month 
was indicated. 83 The War Department, urged by Army Ground Forces in mid- 
December to reduce capacities to a level consistent with the anticipated avail- 
ability of candidates, was reluctant to do so. Army Ground Forces was authorized 
to employ unused school capacity as it saw fit, but no reduction was made 
pending more complete information on direct appointments overseas and on the 

" (1) Memo (S) of CofS AGF for CG AGF, 28 Oct 44, sub: Pers for OCSs. 352/107 (OCS)(S). (2) 
AGF memo (S), G-i to CofS, 27 Oct 44, sub: Off Candidate Prog. AGF G-i Sec files, 352 (Schs)(S). (3) 
Draft (not used) of AGF memo (S) for CofS USA [27 Oct 44], sub as in (2). AGE G-i Sec files, 352 

°° (1) AGF M/S (S), G-i to CofS, 1 Nov 44, sub: Availability of OCS Applicants from System* under 
AGF Only. AGF G-i Sec files, 352 (Schs)(S). (2) AGF M/S (C), G-i to CofS, 13 Dec 44, sub: OC 
Prog. 352/372 (C). 

111 (1) AGF Itr to CG R&SC, 10 Nov 44, sub: Quotas for AGF OCSs for the Month of Dec 44. (2) 
Quota Itrs for Jan 45 (1 Dec 44), and Feb (5 Jan 45). Both in 352/539 (OCS). 

5a (1) WD ltr (R) AGOT-S-A 352 (10 Nov 44) to CG AGF, 15 Nov 44, sub': OCS Quotas. 352/6 
(OCS)(R). (2) WD TWXs listed in ltr cited in (1). 

n AGF M/S (C), G-i to CofS, 13 Dec 44, sub: Off Candidate Prog. 352/372 (C). 



operation of two officer candidate schools being established in England and 
France. 54 On 29 December 1944 the War Department gave commanders of active 
theaters virtually unlimited authority to make officer appointments "because of 
the lack of qualified officer candidates in the United States having the desired 
experience." 55 The authority was to be used to the maximum extent of theater 
resources "to meet all theater needs." Commanders of inactive theaters, on the 
other hand, were enjoined to secure applicants for officer candidate schools in 
the United States and to make direct appointments sparingly, and then only 
with the consent of the War Department. 56 

Procurement in 1945 

The arrangement put into effect in November 1944, by which Army Ground 
Forces supplied 700 officer candidates per month and The Adjutant General 
provided the remainder, continued during early 1945. Overseas theaters, finally 
convinced that Zone of Interior resources for officer production were limited, 
began to fill larger proportions of their own requirements. 57 Overseas shipments 
of officer replacements, after rising to almost unprecedented heights in January 
and February, largely because of losses in the Battle of the Bulge, receded in 
March to lower levels than had prevailed in 1944. (See Table No. 6.1 ) Production 
of officers in the European Theater was facilitated by the establishment of an 
officer candidate school near Paris, for which Army Ground Forces provided a 
cadre of instructors from the Infantry School at Fort Benning. 58 In February 
1945 appointment of officers overseas rose to 994, the largest for any month since 

August 1943. (See Table No. J.] 

u (1) AGF memo (C) for CofS USA, 19 Dec 44, sub: OCS Quotas. 352/372 (C). (2) WD memo (C) 
WDGAP 352 OCS for CG AGF, 16 Jan 45, sub: OCS. 352/372 (C). (3) AGF memo for CofS USA, 5 Feb 45, 
sub: OCSs. 352/566 (OCS). (4) WD ltr (C) AGOT-A-A 352 (14 Feb 45) to CG AGF, 16 Feb 45, sub: 
Quotas for AGF OCSs. 352/385 (C). 

M WD ltr AGPR-A-A 210.1 (27 Dec 44) to CGs China Theater, SPA, POA, India-Burma Theater, 
MTO, and ETO, 29 Dec 44, sub: Authority to Make Appointments. AGO Records, 210.1 (27 Dec 44)(i). 

M WD ltr, file and sub as in n. 55, to CGs USAF Mid East, Persian Gulf Comd, Alaskan Dept, 29 Dec 44. 
AGO Records, 210.1 (27 Dec 44) (1 ). 

n Cf. Minutes of Meeting to Discuss ETO Repl Situation, held in Washington 23 and 28 December 
1944, with representatives of WD, AGF, and ETO. 320.2/173 (O'seas Repls)(S). 

M (1) Par 9, Summary of Conclusions Reached and Actions Taken with Respect to the ETO Repl Problem 
(S) WDGAP 322 Repls, 28 Dec 44. (2) TWX, Hq ComZ, ETO, to WD, 3 Jan 45, CM-IN 2673. (3) AGF 
M/S (R), Off Div to G-i, 6 Jan 45, sub: School and RTC Set-Up for O'seas. (4) AGF M/S (S), CofS to 
G-3, 29 Dec 44, sub: Establishment of Inf Sch in ETO. All U1354.1/120 (RTCs)(S). 



Overseas Shipments of AGF Officer Replacements, 
September 1943-August 1945 

Year and Month 

All Arms 

Infantry Only 

All Theaters 

ETO Only 

All Theaters 

ETO Onlv 










1 Act A 




1 /o 

/ 1 

1 171 

1, 1 / 1 

83 1 


44 J 

















































































Source: Data from C&RD, Grd AG Sec, Hq AGF. 

By March 1945 it seemed feasible to consider putting the provision of officer 
replacements by the Army Ground Forces on a standard basis. 59 March had 
previously been agreed on between the War Department and the theaters as the 
first month in which the supply of officers from the United States would be 
reduced to a flat monthly rate, the remainder to be provided within the theaters. 
The replacement crisis following the Battle of the Bulge had prevented starting 

" AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 7 Mar 45, sub: Off Requirements. 210.31 /i (O'seas Rpls) (S). 



Overseas Appointments of Male Officers, 
September 1942-June 1945 

Year and Month 


September. . . . 


November. . . . 
December. . . . 










September. . . . 







Number Appointed 







Year and Month 








September. . . . 


November. . . . 
December. . . . 


January. . 
March . . . 


June. . . . 


Number Appointed 




Source: The Adjutant General's Office, Machine Records Branch, 26 September 1945. 

the system in March as planned. Representatives of G-i, War Department, and 
of Army Ground Forces now worked out a "Standard Monthly Call" for 
replacements to be supplied after 20 April: 

Infantry 1,000 

Armored 200 

Antiaircraft 50 

Mechanized Cavalry 80 

Field Artillery 200 

Tank Destroyer 30 

TOTAL 1,560 

To furnish this monthly call from April through September it was estimated by 
Army Ground Forces that some readjustments of officer strength would be 



required. In particular, shortages of officers in Cavalry (75), Tank Destroyer 
(53), and Armored (426), and excesses of officers in Field Artillery (493) and 
Antiaircraft (265), were in prospect. After September, when all possible con- 
versions would have been made, it was estimated that monthly calls could not 
exceed the following anticipated school output: 

Infantry 560 

Field Artillery 70 

Armored 35 

Tank Destroyer 10 

Cavalry 25 

Antiaircraft o 

Coast Artillery (HD) o 

TOTAL 700 

On the basis of these calculations, steps were taken immediately to convert 
surpluses of officers in Field Artillery and Antiaircraft to officers in Armored, 
Cavalry, and Tank Destroyer. Special Basic Courses were established at the 
schools of these arms for the purpose. 60 In all, during 1945, conversion courses in 
the service schools retrained over 3,000 officers of other arms as follows : 

Infantry 2,287 

Armored 431 

Field Artillery 341 

Cavalry 77 

TOTAL 3,136 

The projected standardization of monthly calls for overseas officer replace- 
ments was interrupted by the end of the war in Europe. V-E Day found AGF 
officer candidate schools operating considerably below planned capacity; 
although 2,000 candidates were scheduled to enter the Infantry Officer Candidate 
School each month, actual enrollment during the first four months of 1945 was 
only 1400 a month, of whom only about 1,000, experience had shown, would 

" (1) WD ltr (S) AGPO-A-A 210.33 (7 Mar 45) to CG AGF, 13 Mar 45, sub: Off Requirements. 
aio.31/1 (O'seas Repls)(S). (2) AGF ltr (R) to CG R&SC, 27 Mar 45, sub: Conversion of Offs of Other 
Arms to Armored. 210.31/1 (O'seas Repls)(S). (3) AGF ltr (R) to CG R&SC, 27 Mar 45, sub: Conversion 
of AA Offs to Cav. 352/219 (R). 

i 5 6 


be commissioned. Only ten classes began the Infantry OCS course between 16 
March and 9 May 1945, eight projected classes being abandoned for lack of 
candidates. Of the 2,000 men entering the Infantry Officer Candidate School in 
this period, 1,107 (554 percent) came from AGF replacement training centers, 
485 (24.2 percent) were drawn from other Zone of Interior sources, 244 (12.2 
percent) were turnbacks, and only 164 (8.2 percent) were from overseas sources. 61 
Two requirements made it desirable to operate the Infantry Officer Candi- 
date School at full capacity : a backlog of replacements had to be built up for the 
Pacific war, now expected to enter a more intense phase, and a reserve of officers 
was needed to replace officers discharged during redeployment. On 9 May Army 
Ground Forces requested the War Department to return 600 candidates per 
month from inactive theaters — a category in which both the European and 
Mediterranean Theaters now fell — beginning in June, to bring Infantry Officer 
Candidate School enrollments up to the authorized 2,000 a month. 62 Although 
the War Department replied that officer candidates would be returned as rapidly 
as possible, no candidates from inactive theaters were received or even reported 
available up to the beginning of July. Officer candidate schools in the European 
and Mediterranean Theaters were discontinued, and the authority of com- 
manders of those theaters to make unlimited officer appointments was revoked. 63 
Army Ground Forces returned to the War Department on 8 July with another 
plea for expeditious processing and return of candidates from inactive theaters. 64 
At the same time, subordinate commanders in the Ground Forces to whom 
redeployed units were to be assigned were directed to process OCS applica- 
tions from the moment units arrived from overseas until thirty days prior to 
their readiness dates for shipment to the Pacific. 85 It was not anticipated that 
many candidates would be procured from redeployed units; they were to be in 
the United States for only a very short time, and commanders faced with early 
combat against the Japanese were not expected to part willingly with good men, 
especially in view of losses they would have suffered under the point system of 

" Classes 470-487; the figures were compiled from reports in 352/513 (Inf OCS). 
** AGF memo for CofS USA, 9 May 45, sub: Inf OCS. 352/517 (Inf OCS). 

** (1) WD ltr AGOB-T-A 352 (7 Jun 45) to CG AGF, 12 Jun 45, sub: Inf OCS. (2) AGF M/S, G-i to 
G-3, 15 Jun 45, sub: Inf OCS. Both in 352/517 (Inf OCS). 

M AGF memo for CofS USA, 8 Jul 45, sub: Inf OCS. 352/517 (Inf OCS). 

™ (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 8 Jul 45, sub: OCS Prog. (2) AGF M/S, G-i to G-3, 15 Jun 45, G-3 to G-i, 
20 Jun 45, G-i to CofS, 5 Jul 45, sub: Inf OCS. Both in 352/517 (Inf OCS). 



A full-dress reappraisal of the officer procurement problem was sent to the 
War Department on 23 July i945. ee It surveyed resources and requirements for 
redeployment and the war in the Pacific to 31 December 1946. In the absence of 
definite instructions from the War Department, Army Ground Forces planned 
to discharge 9,307 officers, to convert 6,705 officers of other arms to Infantry — a 
few going to Coast Artillery (harbor defense) — and to increase monthly enroll- 
ment in the Infantry Officer Candidate School to 2,940, a 50-percent increase over 
the current input. No change was proposed in the capacities of the Field Artillery 
or the combined Armored-Cavalry-Tank Destroyer Officer Candidate Schools. 
To implement this plan, Army Ground Forces submitted to the War Department 
a proposal for meeting the new monthly candidate requirement. 67 The experience 
of the preceding four months had shown that the shortages noted in May were 
persistent, as indicated in the following tabulation : 68 






Monthly Input Recommended 

by AGF G-i, 28 July 1945 . . 





Average Input, Preceding 

Four Months 









Army Ground Forces recommended that 2,000 candidates be returned to the 
United States each month from inactive theaters : 1,875 ^ or Infantry, 50 for Field 
Artillery, and 75 for Cavalry. It proposed that increments for August and Septem- 
ber be returned by air, displacing high-score personnel scheduled to be returned 
for demobilization. 

The ending of the war with Japan, two weeks after these proposals were 
submitted, threw them into the discard. Officer requirements being immediately 
reduced, OCS capacities were cut to low levels pending determination of the size 
of the postwar army. 69 

M (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 23 Jul 45, s"t>: AGF Off Procurement Objective. (2) AGF M/S 
(S),G-i to CofS, 19 Jul 45, sub as in (1). Both in 352/110 (OCS)(S). 

m (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 2 Aug 45, sub: Procurement of Accepted OCS Applicants. (2) 
WD D/F (S) WDGAP 210.1 (S) to CG AGF, 27 Jul 45, sub: AGF Off Procurement Objective. (3) AGF 
M/S (S),G-i toCofS.i Aug 45, sub: AGF Procurement Objective. All in 352/110 (OCS)(S). 

"AGF M/S (S), G—i to G-3, 28 Jul 45, sub: Procurement of Accepted OCS Applicants. 352/110 

" (1) AGF memo (C) for CofS USA, 5 Sep 45, sub: OCS Capacities. (2) WD D/F (C) 352 OCS 
(5 Sep 45) to CG AGF, 7 Sep 45, sub: OCS Capacities. (3) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 14 Sep 45, sub: Capacities 
and Quotas for AGF OCSs. All in 352/1 (OCS)(S). 

IV. Basic Problems of 
Officer Procurement 

The basic problem faced by the Army in procuring officers for World War 
II, as for all previous wars, was that of drawing from civilian sources an adequate 
supply to meet a sudden emergency. In World War II that supply had to meet 
the requirements of a war new in type. The rate at which the supply of officers 1 
would have to be maintained to replace casualties was not readily predictable on 
the basis of previous experience. Furthermore, officers had to be ready to cope 
with an unprecedented range of technical and administrative problems. In the 
Army Ground Forces most of them had to be ready to lead troops in combat, and 
in addition many of them had to be prepared for leadership in organized arms 
not previously employed by the United States in war: Antiaircraft, Mechanized 
Cavalry, Armored, and Tank Destroyer. 

The Army obtained most of the officers to man its initial expansion either by 
drawing upon its civilian components — the National Guard and the Officers' 
Reserve Corps — or by directly commissioning civilians, among whom could be 
found a number who had had some military training or who had been officers 
in World War I. Officers of the National Guard were better trained than in 1917, 
and the Officers' Reserve Corps had been greatly strengthened by the operation 
of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. But, in the ground arms at least, it was 
found that the Army "did not have in fact the great mass of trained officers that 
were carried on the books." During the initial period of mobilization the officer 
problem was a problem of quality, inherited from an undernourished peacetime 

During the war years the majority of officers in the Army Ground Forces 
were procured from the enlisted ranks by means of officer candidate schools. 
Through this system the Ground Forces obtained the mass of junior officers 
needed for its rapid expansion in 1942 and 1943 and for the replacement of young 
officers lost in combat in 1944 and 1945. It was a democratic system. It permitted 
the Ground Forces to utilize the aptitude for leadership provided by the wide 
sweep of Selective Service through the youth of the Nation. It provided young 
leaders who had had experience in the ranks. Army Ground Forces found its 
OCS graduates better suited for its purposes than graduates of the ROTC. Men 


J 59 

graduating from ROTC units had been invaluable, indeed indispensable, in 
providing the Army with junior officers during the initial period of mobilization, 
but they necessarily lacked the concentrated training and background of experi- 
ence of OCS graduates. The officer candidate schools provided such a satisfactory 
source of junior officers that the efforts of the Ground Forces to procure officers, 
after the initial period, were concentrated on deriving maximum benefits from 
the system and overcoming, as far as possible, the conditions that impaired its 

The main problem was to have graduates of the desired quality in the num- 
bers needed at any given time. By depending on the ranks to furnish officer 
candidates, the schools were tied in with the current enlisted strength of the 
Army Ground Forces — until late 1944 with the enlisted strength of the ground 
combat arms in the Zone of Interior. Thus the number and quality of OCS 
graduates were affected by the fluctuations in the AGF Troop Basis and the 
replacement system. The result was that the output of graduates from the AGF 
officer candidate schools and the demand for them were in fact continuously and 
seriously out of balance. The consequences of this lack of balance were evident 
throughout the war. 

In 1942 rapid mobilization created a demand for graduates so great that 
standards were lowered and the quality of junior leadership available to the 
ground arms declined. In 1943, when mobilization of the ground arms was 
slowed down and then virtually completed at a much lower level than originally 
planned, the demand for junior officers fell off sharply, leaving a surplus of men 
with commissions. In consequence, for a time enlisted men with better qualifica- 
tions than those previously commissioned were denied officer status, and the 
Army Ground Forces was deprived of potential leadership. When in 1944 the 
Army passed from the phase of mobilization to the phase of maintenance, the 
pendulum again swung in the opposite direction and the demand for junior 
officers greatly exceeded the supply. At a time when the output of the officer 
candidate schools had been cut to a minimum, the loss of junior officers in battle, 
particularly in the Infantry, mounted far above the number that were being 
provided under the production policies established by the War Department in 
the spring of 1944. The previous surplus of young officers was quickly consumed. 
The Infantry Officer Candidate School was greatly expanded after June 1944, but 
the limited number of enlisted men then available could not supply candidates 
of adequate quality in adequate numbers, even when standards were once again 


lowered. An acute crisis ensued which was not completely overcome before the 
end of the war. 

These fluctuations in demand affected adversely the quality of training in 
the officer candidate schools. When sudden expansion was ordered, facilities and 
staffs were put under strain and instruction was spread thin. When cuts were 
ordered, extensive facilities remained idle and experienced staffs were partially 
dispersed. A few months later, with a new demand, the process of hasty expansion 
had to be repeated. What the schools accomplished under such conditions was a 
magnificent example of resourcefulness and devotion to duty. 

The lack of balance in demand and supply among the different arms of 
Army Ground Forces also presented a serious problem. This unbalance could 
only be corrected by a wasteful process of conversion and retraining. Nevertheless, 
the conversion of thousands of officers from other branches helped to ease the 
critical shortage of infantry officers in 1944. 

The effect of these difficulties might have been reduced except for the fact 
that the officer candidate system could not respond quickly to sudden changes in 
plans. When production had to be curtailed in 1943, months elapsed before the 
outpouring of candidates could be halted. When the call for more replacements 
required accelerated production in 1944, months elapsed again between the 
decision to increase output and the actual increase in officers available. In both 
cases crises of overproduction or underproduction occurred between the decision 
for change and its implementation. To select, train, and prepare an officer for 
overseas duty required a long period, varying from eight to twelve months. Once 
enrolled in large numbers, candidates would continue to graduate in large num- 
bers until several months later, regardless of intervening changes in requirements. 
If current output was low, it could not be increased in less than eight to twelve 
months, no matter how urgent the need for officers became. Such inelasticity 
was inherent in the system. 

Efforts were made to offset this inelasticity, but were largely ineffective or 
came too late to affect the mass procurement of officers in World War II. One of 
these efforts was to decentralize the procurement of officer candidates. Since the 
problems of the OCS system were tied into the Troop Basis, variations in strategy, 
and the distribution of manpower within the Army as a whole, it was logical that 
the War Department should control the system. On the other hand, the Army 
Ground Forces, as the command in control of both the schools and the troops 
from which the candidates were drawn, might be expected to provide a better 



adjustment of output to requirements. Both methods were tried, but neither 
solved the fundamental problem of unbalance. 

Another measure designed to help solve this problem was an effort to obtain 
more accurate and comprehensive information regarding supply and demand. 
In June 1944, having reassumed control over officer procurement, the War 
Department established a Strength Accounting and Reporting Office in order to 
put personnel accounting on a uniform and world-wide basis. Information avail- 
able on such matters as the number, branch distribution, location, and assignment 
of officers had been woefully fragmentary and uncertain. In computing officer 
requirements different sets of figures had been used by the War Department and 
the Army Ground Forces, and even within the headquarters of Army Ground 
Forces there was no general agreement on relevant statistical data. Confusion in 
planning was the greater because the existing system of accounting for officer 
strength was based on classification by arms which had been superseded. Officers 
were commissioned only in the four statutory arms, and officers in the Armored, 
Antiaircraft, and Tank Destroyer arms were detailed from one of these four. 
Improvised procedures enabled Army Ground Forces to keep track of officers in 
all of the seven ground arms as long as they were in the United States, but once 
overseas they could be accounted for only with difficulty because they appeared 
in strength returns under the branch in which they had been commissioned 
rather than the one in which they were serving. Too often major decisions had 
to be based on partial information or delayed while more accurate information 
was being compiled. The Strength Accounting and Reporting Office was estab- 
lished to reduce these delays and make possible accurate as well as timely 
planning for the size and composition of the officer corps. 

A third attempt to effect a better adjustment of supply to requirements grew 
out of the difficulties the Army Ground Forces experienced toward the end of 
1944 in filling increased quotas for officer candidate schools. The deployment of 
AGF strength overseas had reduced manpower resources in the United States to 
levels incapable of supporting a program designed to produce officers to meet 
world-wide requirements. Under these circumstances the basis for officer procure- 
ment had to be extended beyond the Zone of Interior to Army-wide resources. 
This change in procurement created serious difficulties, which had not been 
successfully overcome by the end of the war. Production of officers overseas, by 
direct appointment and by school training, remained low in relation to theater 
strength. Candidates were returned from theaters in driblets too small to alleviate 
the shortage in the United States. Consequently, the bulk of candidates con- 


tinued to be recruited from the Army at home, with compromises in experience, 
training, interest, and ability comparable to those in 1942. A new procurement 
program of general scope was worked out at the end of 1944. By its terms, over- 
seas theaters were to receive after March 1945 only a limited number of officers 
from the United States and were to fill remaining needs from their own 
resources. This program could not be fully implemented because the German 
offensive of December left many units in Europe extremely short of men and 
fighting in Europe came to an end before the new program could be fully tested. 
Still the experience of the Ground Forces had shown that, given the inevitable 
delay in the reaction of the officer school system to changed demands, it was 
essential that a sufficient supply of candidates be immediately available when 
needed to increase output. An Army-wide procurement basis seemed to be the 
logical solution to this problem. 

In the light of the foregoing study it is apparent that changes along the lines 
projected during the war will not suffice by themselves to produce a well-coordi- 
nated program of officer procurement. Throughout, the greatest difficulties were 
caused by external conditions. The most conspicuous of these were the following: 

1. Initial lac\ of an officer reserve distributed by branch in proportion to 
the needs of mobilization. Few armored, tank destroyer, or antiaircraft officers, 
Regular or Reserve, were initially available as such. Establishments for training 
them had to be set up at the last minute. 

2. Necessity for rapid mobilization upon the entry of the U nited States into 
war. The need for men to fill units outran the supply available through Selective 
Service. Understrength units could furnish officer candidates only by risking their 
own training or filling their OCS quotas with men of inferior quality. 

3. Rigidity of the ROTC program. When the War Department decided to 
induct men in the Advanced ROTC before they had completed the course in 
college, it felt obligated to enable these men to qualify for commissions after 
entering the Army. They were therefore sent to officer candidate schools — the 
bulk of them being enrolled in a period when there was no longer a need for 
increased officer production. Requirements for officers were so low during late 
1943 and early 1944 that OCS quotas were allotted almost entirely to ROTC men, 
and enlisted men had very little chance of being admitted to officer candidate 

4. Shifts in the AGF Troop Basis. The deferment of units, for which candi- 
dates were scheduled to go to school or were already in training, resulted in 1943 
in a surplus of officers above actual Troop Basis needs. This surplus grew as 



planned activations were further curtailed and existing units were inactivated 
during 1943. Heavy cutbacks in certain arms, especially antiaircraft, not only 
added to the growing surplus of officers but also had the more serious effect of 
throwing available officer strength out of balance with probable requirements. 
The conversion of officers in 1944 grew out of this situation. 

5. Shifts in strategic plans. The demand for replacements which would 
have resulted from the cross-Channel invasion planned for the spring of 1943, 
and then postponed, did not materialize. Pending the large-scale invasion of 
Europe in 1944, it was uncertain how far the surplus of officers would go toward 
cushioning replacement demands on the OCS system. In the winter of 1943-44, 
it was believed to be undesirable to add to the surplus by maintaining a sub- 
stantial volume of OCS output. The expansion of OCS facilities for replacement 
needs was delayed, and later was not effected in time to avert the crisis in procure- 
ment during 1944. In the summer of 1944, when theater demands for replace- 
ments were building up to their greatest peak, officer candidate schools had 
declined to their lowest output since 194 1. The immediate crisis had to be met by 
using up the surplus of officers, including those recently converted from other 
arms to the Infantry. 

Some of the difficulties listed cannot be removed even by the most f oresighted 
plan for officer procurement. They are summarized here to illustrate the type of 
external factors which planning must take into account. 

The Provision of 
Enlisted Replacements 


Robert R. Palmer and William R. Keast 





Development of the Replacement Program, 1940-42 170 

Extent of AGF Authority over the Replacement System 173 

Functioning of the Replacement System in 1942 175 

Administrative Changes 179 


The Question of the Quality of Overseas Replacements 181 

Impact of Overseas Requirements on Training Plans, 194} 184 

Preparation of Replacements for Overseas Movement 185 

Reapportionment of RTC Capacity, 194} 188 

The Quantitative Crisis in the Fall of 194} 194 

The Problem of iS-Year-Olds 201 

The Problem of Numbers in 1944 209 

Further Changes in Replacement Procurement, 1944-4; 216 


Proposals for Unit Rotation 228 

Proposals for More Rapid Individual Rotation 231 

Remedial Measures Adopted 232 

Learned-Smith Committee Review of the Replacement System 234 

Recapitulation: the AGF Replacement System in World War II 237 


No. P"g> 

1. Authorized Trainee Capacities of AGF Replacement Training Centers, 

1941-45 173 

2. Number of Men Trained at AGF Replacement Training Centers, 1941-45 177 

3. Distribution of Output from AGF Replacement Training Centers, March 

1943-August 1945 196 

4. Distribution of Output from Infantry Replacement Training Centers, 

March 1943-August 1945 198 

5. Enlisted Replacements Withdrawn from AGF Divisions, April-September 

1944 208 

6. Distribution of Replacement Output from Separate Infantry Regiments, 

March 1944-March 1945 211 

7. Distribution of Output from Infantry Advanced Replacement Training 

Centers, November 1944-August 1945 215 

8. Overseas Shipments of AGF Enlisted Replacements, September 1943- 

August 1945 218 

9. Overseas Shipments of AGF Officer and Enlisted Replacements, by 

Theaters, September 1943-August 1945 222 

I. The Replacement System During 
the Period of Mobilization 

The plan for replacements with which the United States Army entered 
World War II was designed to prevent the hasty and disruptive expedients which 
had become necessary in World War I. Its distinctive feature was that all replace- 
ments were to be produced in the Zone of Interior, in nontactical establishments, 
in which they were to be properly trained in adequate numbers. These establish- 
ments, designated as replacement training centers, were constituted in each arm 
and service. It was intended to obtain from them enlisted fillers with which to 
bring to full strength units initially mobilized as well as replacements with which 
to maintain the fighting strength of units in combat. 1 

In World War I the plan for producing replacements in the combat arms 
provided for training in depot brigades set up in each divisional cantonment. 2 It 
failed. All the enlisted men available in 1917 and early 1918 were needed to form 
the units being whipped into shape for the American Expeditionary Forces. The 
depot brigades, which were used as reception centers, were completely occupied 
with this mission. 3 In the spring of 1918, in an effort to cope with the impending 
need for loss replacements which was soon to become acute, separate replacement 
training depots were created : six for the Infantry, two for the Field Artillery, and 
one for the Coast Artillery. 4 Beginning 1 May 1918 these were activated in canton- 
ments vacated by divisions as these were shipped overseas. The exact number of 
replacements from these centers shipped overseas cannot be determined, but they 
were only a fraction of the total of 435,285 replacements poured into the combat 
divisions of the AEF between 1 May and 1 December 1918, or even of the total of 
270,444 enlisted men designated as replacements who were landed in France 

1 MR 3-1, 23 Nov 40, "Organization and Training," par 33. 

1 "Replacement of Personnel in the American Expeditionary Forces," Chap, II, pp. 16-18, and Chap. Ill, 
passim. This monograph was prepared in the Historical Section, Army War College. Typescript copy in 
Historical Division, WDSS, World War I Branch, file entry 3347. (Pagination is not continuous but by 

8 Ibid., Ill, 4. 1 Ibid., Ill, 7. 



before 30 October 1918. 5 Training at the centers was thrown into constant confu- 
sion by emergency drafts, and the training was poorly conducted. The replace- 
ments they turned out received, on the average, less than a month of training. 6 
The first combat replacements sent to France had to be used for auxiliary services 
to meet a need that exceeded all anticipations. 7 When combat began to take its toll 
and activations were being stepped up to meet the requirements of the 80-division 
program adopted in July 1918, the replacement system broke down completely. 
The requisitions of the AEF had to be met by taking men from divisions being 
trained in the United States, disrupting their preparation for shipment. It finally 
became necessary, in order to meet the mounting casualties of divisions in the 
line, to strip the infantry privates from ten divisions which had arrived in France, 
thus breaking the divisions up or reducing them to skeletons. 8 Consequently, the 
burden of procuring and training replacements both for combat and specialist 
duty fell largely on the American establishment in France, which set up an 
elaborate organization for the purpose. But the strain put on it was so great that 
many replacements who were inadequately trained had to be thrown into 
divisions just prior to their commitment to battle or while they were already 
engaged with the enemy. 9 

Development of the Replacement Program, 1940-42 

The prewar replacement plans in effect in 1940 contained various provisions 
to avoid the experience of World War I. To ensure the proper training of service 
replacements, provision was made for replacement training centers in the services 
as well as in the arms. The training was to be sufficiently thorough to qualify 
individual replacements not only for general duty with their arm or service but 
also for the military specialties required by each branch. The training programs 
were tied into the Army classification system and so constituted as to meet 
requisitions in accordance with military occupational specialties and specification 
serial numbers. It was thought that by this procedure it might be possible to 

6 Ibid,, V, 27 and table at end of Chap. V, prepared by the First Section (G— i), General Staff, Personnel 
Division, GHQ. For fragmentary figures regarding the number of replacements trained at replacement 
training depots, see ibid., II, 12. 

'Ibid., Ill, 5-6 and 15. 

' Ibid., II, 10 and passim. 

'Ibid., II, 18-19; V, 9 and 27. 

" Ibid., V, 7. 


minimize the misassignment of replacements. Replacement training centers 
were not to be used as reception centers but were to devote themselves entirely to 
their training mission. In general, replacement training was segregated from 
unit training, was centralized by arms and services from the beginning, and was 
to be completed in the Zone of Interior. According to the plan, replacements 
were to be trained in numbers proportionate to the requirements of mobilization 
and, later, to estimated rates of loss in battle. With a minimum of further 
preparation they would then be ready for duty with a unit in the United States or 
for action in a theater of operations. The system was designed to provide a 
continuous stream of replacements trained in the necessary jobs and delivered 
where and when needed. The organization of tactical units was adjusted to the 
existence and proper functioning of such a system. The triangular organization 
of the infantry division, and the organization of the armored division adopted 
in 1943, provided an internal reserve that would suffice to maintain the fighting 
power of the division only through comparatively brief periods of hard fighting; 
every ounce of fat was cut out of both types by the reductions of Table of 
Organization (T/O) strength effected in 1943. Once mobilized, combat units 
depended for their effectiveness very largely on receiving adequate numbers of 
properly trained replacements. 

Prewar mobilization plans contemplated that replacement training centers 
should be an integral part of the process of mobilization. Actually, because of 
delays in construction, they were opened only in March 1941, about six months 
after the establishment of Selective Service. For the remainder of 194 1, the newly 
inducted civilian received his basic training at a replacement training center. As 
soon as graduates were available, they were used to fill the ranks of divisions and 
other tactical units that had been mobilized and of new units being activated 
Freed from having to give basic training themselves, tactical units concentrated 
on the development of teams up to the division level, on participation in field 
exercises, and on maneuvers in which, in the summer and fall of 1941, whole 
corps and armies were engaged. 

The system was found eminently satisfactory by those chiefly concerned. 
"Experience has demonstrated," G-3 of the War Department declared on 27 
September 1941, "that the system of supplying all replacements for the ground 
forces from replacement training centers is far superior to the system of furnish- 
ing replacements direct to units or installations from reception centers." 10 Lt. 
Gen. Lesley J. McNair, then Chief of Staff of GHQ, and in that capacity 

10 WD memo G-3/6457 for TAG, 27 Sep 41, sub: RTCs. AGO Records, AG 341 (4-7-41X1) Sec 3. 



responsible for the tactical training of the ground army, was of the same 
opinion. 11 

Nevertheless, after Pearl Harbor, when the decision was made to activate 
thirty-seven new divisions in 1942, the conclusion was reached that a commen- 
surate expansion of replacement training centers was impracticable. Their 
capacity might be expanded, but the number was not to be increased except for 
the new centers already authorized, those at Fort McClellan and Camp Robinson 
for training branch immaterial replacements. The obstacle was new construc- 
tion, which Gen. George C. Marshall believed it imperative to hold to a 
minimum. 12 Divisions and most other units activated thereafter received all or 
some of their initial personnel, except their cadres, directly from reception centers. 
Units already in training, which would be seriously incommoded by receiving 
untrained recruits, were to continue to fill their vacancies with graduates of 
replacement training centers; 13 but actually, in the following years, they fre- 
quently received them directly from reception centers. Thus most units activated 
after Pearl Harbor, and, to an increasing extent, those which had been previously 
activated, became in effect basic training centers. In time they tended also to 
become replacement pools. The number of replacement training centers having 
been restricted, their capacity was subject to only limited expansion. With the 
rapid expansion of the ground forces, their output was often inadequate to fill 
even urgent requirements, so that units had to surrender trained personnel on 
call, receiving in return, often in driblets, men fresh from reception centers. 
Large units such as divisions found themselves training groups of men at various 
levels at the same time. The unity of such organizations was broken ; they could 
not pass as teams through the cycles of the unit training program which was 
designed to have a cumulative effect. Training in teamwork and mutual support 
was impeded, and readiness for combat was indefinitely delayed. 14 By 1943, as a 
result of the lag in production of replacements by the replacement training 
centers, the program of unit training was threatened by a breakdown in the 
replacement system similar to that which had been so damaging in World War I. 

n Comment 4a, CofS GHQ, on WD memo G-3/6457-433, for CofS USA, 27 Dec 41, sub: Mob and Tng 
Plan (revised) 1942. AGO Records, 381 (i2-27-4i)(2)(S). 

u Memo (C) of Brig Gen H. R. Bull for G-3, 3 Jan 42, reporting a conference with Gen Marshall on the 
subject. AGO Records, 381 (i2-27-4i)(2)(S). 

u WD memo G-3/6457-436 for CofS USA, 9 Jan 42, sub: Detailed Tr Unit Basis. AGO Records, 381 

(l2-2 7 - 4 l)(2)(S). 

14 See below /"The Building and Trainin g of Infantry Divisions."! 



Extent of AGF Authority over the Replacement System 

The organization and training programs of replacement training centers 
had originally been the responsibility of the chiefs of the arms and services. After 
the activation of these centers in March 1941 they operated under the joint control 
of these chiefs and of the corps area commanders. As the special service schools 
were also a responsibility of the chiefs of the arms and services, the training of 
individuals during the prewar mobilization of the Army was separated from the 
training of tactical units. The latter was until July 1941 the responsibility of 
General Headquarters, and after that date was divided between GHQ and the 
Chief of the new Army Air Forces. Graduates of replacement training centers 
and schools were assigned to tactical units by The Adjutant General on requisi- 
tion. With the reorganization of the War Department and the major Army 
commands on 9 March 1942, the functions of the chiefs of the ground combat 
arms were vested in General McNair as Commanding General of the Army 
Ground Forces. The Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces thus 
became responsible for the training of individuals in the ground combat arms as 
well as for the training of ground tactical units. To supervise training in the four 
statutory arms — Infantry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, and Cavalry — and the 
three new quasi arms — Armored, Antiaircraft Artillery, and Tank Destroyer — 
AGF headquarters acted through three subordinate agencies, the Replacement 
and School Command, the Armored Force, and the Antiaircraft Artillery Com- 
mand. School and replacement training in the service branches was vested in the 
Commanding General of the Services of Supply (later the Army Service Forces). 
Though many nondivisional service units were activated and trained by the Army 
Ground Forces, training of replacements for these units was not under AGF 

On 18 March 1942 the War Department announced that policies and pro- 
cedures regarding replacements would remain unchanged by the reorganization 
of 9 March. 15 Authority over the number of replacements to be trained, that is, 
authority to regulate the capacity of replacement training centers, was retained 
by the War Department. This was essentially a Troop Basis matter, involving 
higher policies on the allocation of manpower within the Army, Such authority 
was fundamental in any replacement system, since success in keeping units at 
T/O strength depended on the ratio betwee n the number of rep lacements avail- 
able and the authorized strength of units. tSee Table No. gj j Procedures of 

™ WD Itr 34' (3-11-42) EC-C-M to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, iS Mar 42, sub: Allocation and Distribution 
of Eal Repls, 321,96/306. 


Authorized Trainee Capacities of AGF Replacement Training Centers, 1941-45 
(Numbers of Trainees and Percentages of Total AGF RTC Capacity Represented) 




Number Percent 


Number Percent 


Number Percent 

Coast Artillery 

Number Percent 

Field Artillery 




Perce at 
























1 1.9 



































1 6,360 











80. t 















Number Percent 

Too) AGF 



25 Oct 40 
12 Peb 42 
28 Jul 
28 Aug 
Mar 43 

25 Jul 
? Sep 

1 7 Feb 44 

8 Mar 

27 Key 
3 Jun 

9 Aug 
22 Aug 

7 Oct 
30 Oct 

15 Not 

28 Not 
7 Dec 

16 Jen 45 
30 Jan 

11 Jun 





1 1,800 


1. WD In* AG 680.1 (10- IS-40)M-C-W, 35 Oct 40, sub: 
Replacement Centers. AGO Record], 680.1 (7-11-40) (I) 
Sec 1. 

2. WD memo G-3/6457-386 for TAG, 12 Feb 42, tub: RTC 
Capacity. AGO Record.*. 353(2-12-42). 

3. WD memo (S) WDGCT 310.3(7-28-42) for CGi AGF, 
SOS. 26 Jul 42, nib: Allocation of Additional RTC Capacity 
to be Provided under the Mobilisation Plan, 1943. 320.2 
,295 (S). 

4. WD lu (S> AG 320.2 (8-2 7-42) HS-C-H. 28 Aug 42, jub: 
Troop Basis 1943. 320.2/3 (TUB 43) (S). 

3. AGF G-l study (S), Mar 43, job: Replacement Training 
Centers-Capacities and Type, of Training. 34l/l04(S). 

6. (a) AGF lira (5) to CG* R&SC Armd Comd, A A Comd, 25 
Jul 43, sub: Increase in Replacement Training Center!, (b) 
WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (5- 12-43) for CGs AGF, 
ASF, 12 Mar 43. sub; Capacity of Replacement Training 
Centen, (e) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC(5-20-(3) 
for CGs AGF, ASF, 20 May 43, nib: Capacity of Replacement 
Training Center), (d) WD memo (S) for CG. AGF, ASF, 
7 Jul 43, nib: Replacement Training; Centers. All in 354.1/4 

7. (a) AGF 1(» (C) to CGi R&SC. Armd Comd, AA Comd, 9 
Sep 43, sub: Revision of Replacement Training Center 
Capacities, (b) AGF Itrs (C) to CG* R&SC Armd Comd. 
AA Comd, 15 Sep 43, sub: Revision of J 




(In AA) 
Go AA) 
(in AA) 
(in AA) 











ing Center Capacities, (c) WD D/F (S) WDGAP 320.2(29 
Jul 43) to CG AGF, 7 Aug 43, sub: Additional Personnel 
Required for Replacement Training Centers, (d) WD memo 
(C) WDGAP 320 RTC for CG* AGF, ASF, 23 Aug 43, 
tab: Capacity of Replacement Training Centers. All id 
354.1 /4(RTC)(0. 

8. TO» e » t.S^WDGCT^20 RTC^rMFeb 44) for CG. 

Centers. 334.1/102 (RTC) (S). ^ * **" 

9. AGF ttr. (S) to CG. R&SC, AA Comd, 8 Mar 44, rub; 
Revision of Replacement Training Center Capacities and 
Training Rates. 3S4.t/lOl(RTC) (C). 

10. WD memo (S) WDGCT 520- RTC (27 May 44) for CG 
AGF, 27 Mar 44, sub: Capacity of Replacement Training 

Centers. 354.1/109(RTO(S). 

1 1. AGF Itr (S) to CG R&SC, 3 Jan 44. sub: Training Capacities 
of Infantry and Cavalry Replacement Traininr 

334.1/109 (RTC) (S). 

12. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC ( 
ASF. 9 Aug 44, sub: Capacity of Replacement Training 
Centers. 354.1/1 13 (RTC) (S). 

13. AGF lira (S) to CG. R&SC AA Comd. 32 Aug 44. sub: 
Capacity of Replacement Training Center.. 334.1/112 


R&SC 7 Oct 44, sub: I 


13. WD memo (S)WDGCT 320 RTC(30 Oct 44) for CG AGF, 
30 Oct 44, sub: Capacity of Replacement Training Centen. 
334,1/1 IS (RTC) (S). 

16. AGF Itr (S) to CGs R&SC, AA Comd, 13 Nov 44. sub: 
Capacities of Replacement Training Center.. 334.1/112 
(RTC) (S). 

17. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTCttS Nov 44} for CG 
AGF, 28 Nov 44, sub; Capacity of Replacement Training 
Centers. 354.1 /115(RTC)(S). 

18. AGF Itrs (S) to CGs R&SC AA Comd, 7 Dec 44, job; 
Capacities of Replacement Training Centers. 334.1/tlJ 

19. WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (16 Jan 43) for CG AGF, 
16 Jen 4 3, sub: Capacity of Replacement Training Center.. 

20. (a) AGF Itr (S) to CG R&SC 30 Jan 43. sub: Capacities of 
Infantry Replacement Training Centers, (b) AGF Itr (S) 
to CG AA Comd, 30 Jan 43. sab: Capacity of Antiaircraft 
Artillery Replacement Training Center, Fort Bliss, Tex. 
(c) AGF Itr (S) to CG R&SC 30 Jan 43, sub: Capacities of 
Replacement Training Center, other than Infantry. All to 
354.1/ 122 (RTC) (S). 

21. (a) WD memo (O WDGCT 320 RTC(I3 Mar 45) for CG 
AGF, Mar 43, nib: Capacity of Replacement Training 
Centers, (b) AGF Itr. (C) to CGs R&SC. AA Comd, 1 1 Jun 
43, mb: Capacities of 1 
in 3 54.1/137 (RTC) (C). 



assignment to and from replacement centers remained unchanged (until March 
1943). The Adjutant General continued in 1942 to assign inductees from recep- 
tion centers in numbers sufficient to keep replacement training centers filled to 
the capacities prescribed by the War Department; he assigned graduates of the 
centers to units and other installations, according to priorities set by the War 
Department. Units having the necessary priority requisitioned directly on The 
Adjutant General, except that armored units requisitioned on the Chief of the 
Armored Force, who, like the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces, 
in consequence of an independence won in 194 1, controlled the disposition of 
ETC graduates in his arm. 

In 1942 the headquarters of Army Ground Forces was concerned primarily 
with the activation and training of units, especially infantry divisions, and did 
not at first give much of its attention to the matter of replacements. Supervision 
of the centers was willingly delegated to the Replacement and School Command 
and other commands concerned. Officers from AGF headquarters rarely 
inspected the centers or visited the Replacement and School Command in 1942. 19 
Replacement training proceeded under the impetus given it in 1941 under the 
chiefs of the arms. 

The Army Ground Forces sought no authority over administrative aspects 
of the replacement system. Shortly after the reorganization of March 1942 the 
War Department directed Army Ground Forces to submit monthly estimates of 
requirements for personnel." General McNair believed that this would entail 
an overlapping with functions already performed adequately by War Depart- 
ment agencies. "The Army Ground Forces," he stated to the War Department on 
28 March 1942, "is primarily a training organization and its requirements for 
personnel are limited solely to those for units to be activated. The actual replace- 
ment requirement is limited to that necessary to replace deceased personnel, an 
almost negligible requirement." 18 Because of turnover within units, this state- 
ment with regard to replacement requirements did not prove to be a correct 
forecast. But on the ground that the War Department already knew what units 
were to be activated and that, therefore, consolidated estimates by the Army 
Ground Forces would be a duplication of effort, the War Department rescinded 
its directive that the Army Ground Forces submit estimates. 19 

" AGF M/S (S), Tng Di» to C-3, 20 Oct 4 J. sub: Tng of Rcpls and AA Uniti. 353/ 195 (S). 
I" Seen. 15.I 

™ AGF memo for G-3 WD, 78 Mar 42, sub as in □, 15. 311.96/ 319. 

"WD D/F WDGCT 319 (3-18-47) to CG AGF, 16 Apr 43, sub as in a. 15. 312,96/319, 



The Army Ground Forces took the position in 1942 that, while the training 
of overseas replacements was its function, their movement from its installations 
to theaters of operations was a function of the Services of Supply. 20 Establishment 
of overseas replacement depots in the United States for the assembling, temporary 
storage, and final checking of replacements, pending requisitions from overseas 
or availability of shipping, had long been foreseen as necessary by the War 
Department. The Army Ground Forces insisted in 1942 that such depots be 
operated by the Services of Supply. Though the Services of Supply was directed 
by the War Department in April 1942 to create two such depots, one on each 
coast, none was actually set up until January 1943. 21 

Functioning of the Replacement System in 1942 

Replacement policy, controlled by the War Department, was geared in 1942 
primarily to the needs of mobilization.The proportion of replacements to be 
trained in each arm or service and in individual jobs within each arm or service 
corresponded to requirements for the activation of new units, not to probable 
casualties in various branches and jobs. Filling of vacancies of units in training, 
not replacement of combat losses, guided the apportionment of RTC capacities. 
Hence in 1942 the Quartermaster Corps had as large an RTC capacity as the Field 
Artillery; the Signal Corps a larger capacity than the Armored Force; and the 
Medical Department half as large a capacity as the Infantry. In the Infantry the 
number of replacements trained as riflemen, cooks, and clerks corresponded to 
the number of men in each of these jobs called for in Tables of Organization of 
infantry units, without allowance for the fact that when battle losses began to 
occur the casualty rate among riflemen would be higher than among cooks. 22 

This system was well adapted to the early phase of mobilization and to a 
policy under which all fillers received by units were to have had basic training 
in replacement centers. The policy, however, was modified by the decisions of 

" (1) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 10 Apr 42, sub: Repl Depots. 680.1/47. (2) AGF memo (C) for G-i 
WD, 7 Jun 42, sub: Plan of Loss Repls for O'seas Forces. 320.2/ 130 (C). 

"WD memo (C) WDGCT 320 (3-3-42) to CG SOS, 26 Apr 42, sub: Personnel Repl Depots. 
680.1/5 (C). 

" (1) WD Itr (C) AG 381 (4-1-42) EC-GCT-M to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 7 Apr 42, sub: RTC Capacity 
and Related Matters. 381/27 (C). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (7-28-42) for CGs AGF, SOS, 28 Jul 
42, sub: Allocation of Additional RTC Capacity to be Provided under the Mob Plan, 1943. 320.2/295 (S). 
(3) AGF 1st ind (S), 5 Aug 42, to G-3 WD on memo cited in (2). 320.2/295 (S). (4) WD ltr (S)AG 
320.2 (8-27-42) MS-C-M to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 28 Aug 42, sub: Tr Basis, 1943. 320.2/3 (TB 43) (S). 



December 1941, which provided that replacement training centers should not be 
expanded commensurately with the Army and that new units should receive 
fillers directly from reception centers. With RTC output no longer sufficient to 
fill all the mobilization requirements of units it was necessary to establish 
priorities in the assignment of RTC graduates. Units overseas or alerted for 
overseas movement were given high priority in obtaining RTC-trained personnel. 
Units forming in the United States were to receive RTC-trained men as these 
became available in each arm or service after requisitions of higher priority had 
been filled. 

The arms and services varied greatly in respect to the number of RTC- 
trained men that new units could receive under these circumstances. The War 
Department announced in July 1942 that new armored, engineer, infantry, and 
military police units could not expect to receive any RTC-trained men. But new 
ordnance units could expect to receive 36.1 percent of their personnel in the 
form of RTC-trained men, new quartermaster units 41.7 percent, and new 
signal units 48.2 percent. The principle was adopted that service units, requiring 
a larger number of technically trained men than combat units, should receive a 
higher proportion of fillers already branch-trained than should units of the 
combat arms. On 28 July 1942 the War Department authorized an addition in 
1943 of 50,000 to the total capacity of all replacement training centers. Some 
allotment was made to medical, engineer, and military police centers to bring 
these branches more nearly into line with the other services, but most of the 
50,000 were allocated to infantry and armored replacement training centers. 
This was not, in effect, a departure from the general principle stated above, since 
existing RTC capacities in the Infantry and the Armored Force were insufficient 
even for high-priority requirements. 23 

Replacement centers in the ground combat arms were therefore intended in 
1942 primarily to fill vacancies in overseas units and alerted units, or for cadres 
or training installations necessary for expansion. Such replacement needs in 
1942, even in overseas units, were generally due to nonbattle causes and tended 
to occur in all jobs and all arms and services alike. Therefore in that year no 
particular difficulty was caused by the fact that the proportions of men trained in 
various arms and various jobs bore no relation to casualties. The main difficulty 
was that replacements were not numerous enough even for high-priority 

ffl WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (7-28-42) to CGs AGF, SOS, 28 Jul 42, sub as in n. 22 (2). 
320.2/295 (S). 



It is a paradoxical fact that the output of the AGF replacement training 
centers was insufficient even for high-priority requirements in 1942, although 
AGF replacement training centers actually graduated more men in 1942, when 
virtually no battle losses had to be replaced, than in 1943. (See Table No. 2.) 
High-priority requirements in 1942 included not only the needs of overseas and 
alerted units but also the needs of schools and requirements for cadres and RTC 
trainer personnel. Until September 1942, when a 15-percent overstrength was 
granted to parent units, AGF units furnishing cadres were authorized to regain 
their T/O strength by drawing men from replacement training centers. Cadre 
requirements were very heavy in this period of rapid expansion. Units that were 
alerted in the summer of 1942 for the projected cross-Channel invasion of 1943 
had to be filled with men already basically trained. Some of these units were 
subsequently de-alerted, but meanwhile a requirement for RTC graduates had 
been set up. Units preparing for the North African landing had to be filled. A 
replacement pool to back up this force was likewise created. 

The number of RTC graduates available in the ground arms was further 
reduced when training facilities in the AGF replacement training centers were 
diverted to meet other needs. With the rapid expansion of service units in 1942 
to supply the requirements of BOLERO, the output of SOS replacement training 
centers, though greater than that of AGF replacement training centers in pro- 

Number of Men Trained at AGF Replacement 
Training Centers, 1941-45 















c 8,274 
d \ ,8 16,702 


^592,7 59 







Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 

* Through 31 August 1945. 

* Estimated. 

c Figures for 1941 and part of 1942 unavailable. 

d Figures for 1944 and 1945 include production of IARTC's. 



portion to T/O requirements, was considered insufficient. To supply RTC- 
trained men to service units, 16 battalions in infantry replacement training 
centers, 10 in field artillery, and 1 in cavalry were converted to branch immaterial. 
Between July and October these 28 battalions trained 80,000 men for assign- 
ment to service units. 24 Meanwhile the War Department had begun to induct 
limited-service men. The 28 RTC battalions which had trained men for the 
services were, therefore, employed until early in 1943 to give basic training to 
limited-service men. These were assigned on graduation to defense commands, 
from which general-service men were assigned in return to the Army Ground 
Forces. 25 

The insufficiency of RTC graduates in 1942 appears to have been aggravated 
by faults in administration and by the absence of organized depots or pools. 
RTC graduates, if not requisitioned for high-priority purposes immediately on 
graduation, seem to have been disposed of by assignment to any units that might 
need them. Thus when high-priority requirements occurred at a time not corre- 
sponding to graduations at replacement training centers they were filled by 
drawing upon units as the only available sources. 

As early as 28 July 1942 the War Department directed the Army Ground 
Forces to provide, when RTC output was insufficient, overseas replacements from 
low-priority units in training. 26 The Army Ground Forces was ordered to submit 
monthly lists of low-priority units, totaling at least 30,000 in enlisted strength. 
Activations at this time having proceeded faster than the induction rate, AGF 
units were chronically understrength. They could hardly supply replacements 
without further impairing their strength. To fill units earmarked for Task 
Force A, intended for North Africa, the Army Ground Forces depleted three 
divisions to below 50 percent of their strength. 27 To fill other earmarked units 
and to create a replacement pool it would be necessary to strip more units. To 
avoid stripping divisions and other units at random it was decided that two 

84 WD memo WDGCT 320 (RTC) for CG AGF, 27 May 42, sub: Employment of RTCs. With related 
papers. 354.1/56 (RTC). See also /60. and / 159. 

25 (1) WD ltr (C) AG 220.31 (11-10-42) OC-E- WDGCT to CG AGF, 14 Nov 42, sub: Employment of 
RTCs for Limited Serv Pers. 327.3/1 (LS)(C). (2) WD ltr (C) AG 220.31 (1-23-42) OC-E-WDGCT to 
CG AGF, 28 Jan 43, sub as in ( 1 ). 327.3/1 (LS)(C). (3) WD ltr (C) AG 220.31 (2-27-43) OC-E-WDGCT 
to CG AGF, 2 Mar 43, sub as in (1). 327.3/1 (LS)(C). (4) WD memo WDGCT 353 (2-1 1-43) to CG AGF, 
11 Feb 43, sub: Tng of Limited Serv Men in RTCs. 327.3/168 (LS). (5) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 15 
May 43, sub: BI Limited Serv Bns at RTCs. 327/185 (LS). 

"WD memo (C) WDGCT 220 (7-10-42) for CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 28 Jul 42, sub: Personnel for 
O'seas Units. 341/12 (C). 

" AGF memo (S) for OPD, 11 Sep 42, sub: Preparation of Units for O'seas Serv. 370.5/1 1 (S). 



divisions, together with certain smaller units of various arms, should be desig- 
nated as replacement pools. The 76th and 78th Divisions were so designated. 28 
Receiving and temporarily storing RTC graduates pending requisitions, they 
acted for several months as depots or pools rather than as divisions in training. 
The raiding of other units for replacements was for a time virtually stopped. 

Administrative Changes 

Noting that units functioning as pools could not train as units, Army Ground 
Forces on 9 November 1942 again urged the establishment of Zone of Interior 
overseas replacement depots. 29 It was still believed by Army Ground Forces that 
they should be operated by the Services of Supply. 30 Two were established in 
January 1943, one at Shenango, Pa., and the other at Pittsburg, Calif., for the 
holding and processing of overseas replacements in all arms and services except 
the Air Forces. 31 In March the 76th and 78th Divisions reverted to normal train- 
ing. 32 The handling of overseas replacements seemed to be settled. In fact, it 
was not. 

It was decided at this time to decentralize assignment procedures by delegat- 
ing authority to the three major commands, effective 1 March 1943. 33 Henceforth 
the War Department allotted inductees in bulk to the Army Ground Forces, 
specifying only how many should go to replacement centers. The Army Ground 
Forces informed The Adjutant General to what particular units or replacement 
training centers its quota of inductees should be assigned. In practice this con- 

m (1) Memo of Col Tate, Plans Sec, for DCofS AGF, 21 Sep 42, sub: Rpt of G-3 WD Conference on Pers 
Matters. AGF Plans Sec file 185 (TB 42). (2) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 23 Sep 42, sub': Activations, 
Priorities and RTC Pool. 320.2/352 (S). (3) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (9-25-42) for CGs AAF, 
AGF, SOS, 25 Sep 42, sub: Repls of Units for O'seas Serv. 320.2/363 (S). (4) AGF ltr (R) to CGs. 2 Oct 42, 
sub: Repl Pools. 320.2/105 (R). 

AGF memo (C) for G-3 WD, 9 Nov 42, sub: Repl Depots. 320.2/222 (C). 


80 Memo of Lt Col Banville, Asst GAG, for Col Hyssong, 2 Feb 43, sub: Conference Relative to 
Decentralization of RTC Asgmts. 341/1024. 

a WD Memo S600-1-43, 8 Jan 43, sub: Establishment of Pers Repl Deps. 320.2/5822. 

" AGF M/S (C), G-3 to CofS, 8 Mar 43, sub: Repl Deps. 320.2/222 (C). 

"See papers in 341/1024, especially: (1) Memo of Lt Col Banville for Col Hyssong, 2 Feb 43, sub: 
Conference Relative to Decentralization of RTC Asgmt. (2) WD ltr AG 220.31 (2-5-43) OC-E-WDGAP 
to CGs AGF, AAF, SOS, 13 Feb 43, sub: Decentralization of Pers Procedure. (3) AGF M/S, C&RD to G-3, 
13 Feb 43, sub: Decentralization of Asgmt Procedures. (4) AGF ltr to CGs, 19 Feb 43, sub: Enl Pers 
Requisitions. (5) AGF ltr to CGs AAC, R&SC, Armd F, 20 Feb 43, sub: Rpts of EM Available for Shipment 
from AGF RTCs and Schs. 


stituted no great innovation. The main innovation was that the headquarters of 
the Army Ground Forces now assigned graduates of its replacement centers and 
its schools. AGF units henceforth requisitioned on the headquarters of the Army 
Ground Forces for personnel from all sources. To implement these new pro- 
cedures a Classification and Replacement Division was set up in the office of the 
Adjutant General of the Army Ground Forces. While all higher control remained 
with the War Department, AGF headquarters was now in a position to gather 
statistics, codify its needs, plan the distribution of its personnel resources, antici- 
pate difficulties or crises, and recommend action to the War Department. As 
mobilization approached completion in the summer of 1943, the main work of 
the Army Ground Forces shifted from the mobilization and training of new 
units to the maintenance of its own units at authorized strength, to the economiz- 
ing of manpower by accurate classification and assignment, and to the provision 
of replacements to units in combat. Under these circumstances the Classification 
and Replacement Division became one of the most active and important elements 
of AGF headquarters. 

II. The Replacement System 
and Combat Losses 

In the early part of the war, roughly from 1941 to 1943, the primary purpose 
of the replacement system was to fill the needs of mobilization. From 1943 until 
the end of the war in Europe, it had to be adapted to the need of supplying 
replacements for overseas losses. The transition was gradual, running through 
the year 1943. In the later period the major emphasis was at first on the quality 
of replacement training — on ensuring that replacements received by overseas 
forces were properly trained. From the time combat intensified at the close of 
1943, the major stress was on quantity — the sending of enough replacements 
overseas to enable units to continue in combat. 

The Question of the Quality of Overseas Replacements 

Except for the Philippine campaign of 1941-42, the losses of which could 
not be replaced, the Army did not engage in large-scale operations requiring 
many combat replacements until the North African campaign, launched in 
November 1942. Complaints were received from North Africa early in 1943 that 
replacements were unsatisfactory. It was reported that combat replacements 
reaching North Africa included men who had not had the prescribed thirteen 
weeks of basic training, or had never fired their primary weapons, or were 
improperly equipped, or were physically unfit, or were disciplinary cases 
unloaded by units in the United States. 1 The Army Ground Forces directed its 
observers in North Africa to look into the replacement situation. General McNair 
and officers of his staff gave it their attention when they visited North Africa in 
April 1943. In this, as in other matters, the campaign in North Africa was the 
great experiment from which lessons had to be learned for guidance in the 
invasion of Europe. 

The conclusion reached at AGF headquarters was that the supply of replace- 
ments had been unsatisfactory, but that the fault lay not so much in the quality 

1 (1) AGF M/S (S), CofS to G-3, 18 Feb 43, sub: Loss Repls Tng. 354.1/4 (RTC)(S). (2) Memo of 
Col. L. L. Williams for CG AGF, 14 May 43. AGF G-3 Sec file, Obsrs #35, to which Gen Bull's rpt is atched 
as Tab B. (3) Obsrs' Rpts in 319. 1 (Foreign Obsrs)(S) and (C), for example, the Rpt of Maj Gen W. H. 
Walker, 12 Jun 43, par 10 in unabridged version. (4) Materials in 353/2 (NATO)(C). 


of training as in misconceptions of that training among officers in the theater and 
in defects of administration in both the United States and Africa. One common 
misconception was the failure of overseas commanders to understand that replace- 
ment centers in the United States were obliged to give in thirteen weeks both 
basic military training and training for individual jobs, such as those filled by 
riflemen, antitank gunners, clerks, and radio operators. When questioned in the 
theater soldiers often stated that they had had only three or four weeks of basic 
training, while in fact they had had the thirteen weeks prescribed by the War 
Department but had spent much time during the later weeks in learning their 

Faults in administration lay principally outside the jurisdiction of the Army 
Ground Forces, which in general had jurisdiction over training only. It was 
found that medical examination, issue of equipment, and other processing had in 
some cases been very cursory at the Shenango Replacement Depot and at staging 
areas through which replacements had passed before that depot was established. 
The experience of replacements en route tended to destroy their morale and to 
undo the effects of their training. Shipped without unit organization or strong 
command, they were passed mechanically from one agency to another — depot, 
port, transport, and a series of temporary stations in the theater — often spending 
months before they were assigned to duty with a unit. In this period they became 
physically soft, their discipline slackened, and their rapidly acquired skills tended 
to fade out with disuse. What the front-line unit received was not what the 
replacement training center had produced. 

A study of the assignment of replacements in the North African Theater 
revealed other serious faults in administration. Some men were diverted from 
the replacement stream to form new units in the theater. It was estimated that 
by May 1943 17,000 men, most of them intended as combat replacements, had 
been utilized overseas for the activation of new service units, particularly in 
quartermaster and military police. 2 Tank replacements were assigned to infantry 
units. Individual job specialties were not considered in making assignments. 
Some commanders, eager to get the best men available, were impatient of the 
aims and procedures of classification. "One division commander," wrote General 
McNair, "himself told me that when he needed replacements he went to the 
replacement depot and chose his men individually, regardless of arm or specialty, 

" Memo (S) of Lt Col H. W. Wilkinson for Mil Pers Div ASF, 28 May 43, sub: Rpt of Visit to O'seas 
Theaters. 320.2/7 (O'seas Repls) (S). 


l8 3 

based primarily on their appearance and actions — somewhat as one would buy 
a horse." 3 

Misassignment of replacements, whose training had been devoted to indi- 
vidual specialties, was wasteful of training time and of human material. It was 
not always due to indifference or error, but was frequently made necessary by 
the fact that depots had a surplus of trainees in some specialties and a shortage 
in others, usually combat jobs such as infantry riflemen, for which the require- 
ment was heavy. Misassignment in such cases showed that the number of 
replacements received, the timing of their arrival, and their distribution among 
arms and individual specialties were not properly geared in Washington to actual 
theater needs. 

Besides revealing defects of administration, the conditions in North Africa 
threw doubt on the adequacy of replacement training. There had long been a 
school of thought in the Army which held that replacements should receive 
more than thirteen weeks of training and that they should be trained, not in 
somewhat formless "centers," but in units resembling the units to which they 
would ultimately be assigned. Some of General McNair's staff officers recom- 
mended a lengthening of the training program. 4 The Committee on Revision 
of the Military Program, which in the early summer of 1943 recommended that 
the ground army be reduced to an 88-division basis, reached an unfavorable 
judgment on replacement training in the Army Ground Forces. It proposed on 
7 June 1943 that replacement training be extended to six months, to include train- 
ing in units; and that, pending the time when men trained under this longer 
program became available, replacements should be taken from tactical units, 
including divisions, many of which could not in any case be shipped until 1944. 
Since overseas commanders wished almost no noncommissioned officers among 
their replacements, preferring to promote men already in their organizations, 
the committee recommended that only privates be taken from AGF units; and 
to prevent the casting off of undesirables by unit commanders it recommended 
stripping all privates from the units selected, reducing the units to cadres. 

On 13 June G-3 of the War Department, in a strongly worded memorandum 

* Memo (C) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, I Jan 44, sub: "What the Front-Line Infantryman Thinks." 
000.7/101 (Inf Program) (C). 

1 (i \ See D. 1 (aj - (2) Memo (S) of Lt Col Banville for Col Winn, 26 May 43, sub: Loss Repls. 320.2/6 

" Memo (S) of Cols Maddocks, Chamberlain, and Carter for CofS USA, 7 Jun 43, sub: Revision of Current 
Mil Program; Tab C: "Problem: To Improve the Present Repl Tng System." 381/177 (S). 



to the Army Ground Forces, declared not only that unfit and untrained men 
must be eliminated from overseas replacements by firmer administration but 
also that the training program itself must be reviewed. Following the recom- 
mendations of the committee, G-3 invited the Army Ground Forces to consider 
the establishment of a 6-month replacement training cycle and the setting up of 
training divisions or similar units, in which officer and enlisted replacements 
would be trained together and from which they would be shipped together to 
theaters overseas. 6 

Impact of Overseas Requirements on Training Plans, 1943 

The fundamental question was thus raised as to whether replacements 
should be trained in units, as in the German and British Armies, or in special 
centers devoted to the production of individual soldiers. Overseas commanders 
wished individual replacements : for example, if a battalion had been shattered 
in combat, they preferred to rebuild it with the required number of new officers 
and enlisted men rather than to have it replaced with a new battalion. Moreover, 
not wishing to put new men over old, they preferred privates as enlisted replace- 
ments and second lieutenants as officer replacements. But overseas commanders 
also wanted men with specialist training. The specialists in units usually were not 
privates. To strip all privates from a unit, as proposed, would not produce the 
necessary specialists. It would produce the men who, after months in a unit, 
had been deemed least qualified for promotion. Replacement centers, designed to 
furnish overseas commanders with men who were still privates but among whom 
there was a normal distribution of ability and specialized training, could meet 
the demand more adequately than units in training. Officer replacement pools, in 
which all grades were available, had a similar advantage over training units. 

General McNair believed that thirteen weeks of replacement training were 
sufficient to enable a private to join an established unit, discharge satisfactorily 
the restricted functions of a private, and learn further soldiering from the more 
experienced men about him. Thirteen weeks represented far more training than 
most American replacements had received in World War I. 7 It was obvious that 

' WD memo (S) WDGCT AG 320.2 Gen (6-12-43) for CG AGF, 13 Jun 43, sub: Loss Repls. 354.1 /4 

T "Replacement of Personnel in the American Expeditionary Forces," III, 9: "With the exception of . . . 
those taken from divisions in training, the men forwarded as replacements had had, in general, less than 
one month's training and were in fact recruits and not trained replacements." Typescript in files of Hist Div, 
WDSS, World War I Br, file entry 3347. 


l8 5 

a longer period would have produced a better-trained man, but against the 
advantages of longer training other considerations had to be weighed. The 
annual output of replacements depended on two things: the number in training 
at a given time and the number of training cycles in a year. If the training cycle 
were lengthened, either fewer replacements would be produced in a given period 
or more men would have to be kept in training at a given time. An increase in 
the number of men under training would involve a proportionate increase of 
overhead. Given the fixed ceiling on manpower adopted in 1943, it would reduce 
the number of men available for units. The constant need of economizing man- 
power made necessary the shortest replacement training cycle consistent with 
military effectiveness. 

The Army Ground Forces replied to G-3 of the War Department on 25 
June 1943. Three plans for a 6-month training cycle were offered and analyzed, 
but because of their costliness in manpower they were not recommended. The 
belief was expressed that difficulties had been caused mainly by misassignment, 
misuse of replacements in theaters, and other administrative faults, already 
being corrected, and that the existing training program, recently extended to 
fourteen weeks, would probably be sufficient if properly carried out. However, 
a 17-week program, to be given in replacement training centers and to include 
small-unit training, was offered as a possible substitute for the three plans. It was 
estimated that to maintain production under such a program an increase in RTC 
capacity of 75,000 enlisted men would be required. Even with this increase, all 
RTC graduates would be needed as replacements for overseas or for alerted units ; 
units in the United States, however advanced in their training, would have to 
fill their losses directly from reception centers. The 17-week program was 
adopted by the War Department and put into effect in August 1943. 8 

Preparation of Replacements for Overseas Movement 

In 1943 the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces assumed increasing 
administrative responsibilities with respect to replacements, though it had 
desired only a minimum of such responsibilities in 1942. The establishment of 
the Classification and Replacement Division was an important step in this 

8 For this and the preceding two paragraphs see: (i) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 25 Jun 43, sub: Loss 
Repls. 320.2/9 (O'seas Repls)(S). (2) Col Winn's comments (S) on recommendations o£ WD Committee, 
9 Jul 43. 381/177 (S). (3) AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 20 Aug 43, sub: O'seas Loss Repls. 320.1/ 14 (O'seas 
Repls) (S). (4) Gen Lentz's comments when Gen Christiansen first raised the issue of replacement training, 
AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 20 Feb 43, sub: Loss Repl Tng. 354.1/4 (RTC)(S). 


One administrative correction sought and obtained was a simplification of 
physical and psychological requirements for replacements. Physically or other- 
wise unqualified personnel had often slipped through the examining authorities 
and appeared as replacements overseas. In April 1943 the Overseas Replacement 
Depot at Shenango, Pa., complained that replacements sent to it had been 
inadequately screened by AGF replacement training centers. The Army Ground 
Forces believed that this was not due so much to negligence at replacement 
training centers as to a divergence of opinion among the various doctors by 
whom a replacement was examined. There was a tendency for the interpretation 
of standards to become stricter as nearness to combat increased. Men passed as 
physically qualified at a replacement training center might be considered 
unqualified at a replacement depot. Men passed by a replacement depot might 
be judged unfit by medical officers in a theater. Numerous men were rejected 
through rigid concepts of dental fitness. In consequence some soldiers threw 
away dental appliances with which they had been provided in training, in order 
to avoid overseas service. The Army Ground Forces recommended that dental 
requirements be clarified at a minimum level, namely, "ability to masticate the 
Army ration." It recommended further, and likewise in the interest of less 
subjective judgments, that the term "mentally" be dropped from War Depart- 
ment Circular 85 (1943), in which qualifications for overseas service were 
stated. Further amendment of Circular 85 was requested on 28 July. Although 
specific recommendations of the Army Ground Forces were not followed, clarifi- 
cation was achieved with the publication by the War Department, on 1 October 
1943, of "Preparation for Oversea Movement of Individual Replacements" 
("POR"). This remained the governing document on the subject until quanti- 
tative demands in 1944 made it necessary to lower the standards of physical 
quality. 9 

The Army Ground Forces, at first reluctantly, extended its responsibility 
over the movement of trained replacements. Reports of mismanagement and 
poor discipline at Shenango were made by AGF inspectors, 10 and led to a visit of 
inspection on 17 May 1943 by Brig. Gen. Alexander R. Boiling, G-i of Army 
Ground Forces, and other AGF officers. Shocked by their findings, General 

* (1) AGF memo for G-i WD, 24 Apr 43, sub: Eligibility of EM as O'seas Repls. 341/1059. (2) AGF 
2d ind to TAG, 28 Jul 43, on memo cited in (1). (3) WD pamphlet AG 210.31 (11 Sep 43) OB-S-E-GN- 
SPGAR-M, 1 Oct 43, sub: Preparation for O'seas Movement of Indiv Repls — Short Title "POR." 370.5/4134: 

u Memo (R) of members of AGF G-3 Tng Sec for Co£S, 12 May 43, sub: Inspection of AGF Repls at 
Cp Kilmer, N. J., and Cp Shanks, N. Y., May 7-9; Tabs H to N. 333.1/14 (R). 


l8 7 

Boiling, who had in the past strongly favored the operation of replacement 
depots by the Service Forces, recommended that the depot be taken over by the 
Army Ground Forces. 11 In conference with the War Department it was decided 
that the Army Service Forces should continue to operate Shenango as a replace- 
ment depot for the ASF branches, but that the Army Ground Forces should 
establish on each coast a depot of its own for overseas replacements in the combat 
arms. 12 

Depots were therefore organized at Fort Meade, Md., and Fort Ord, Calif., 
with respective capacities for 18,000 and 7,000 replacements. They were made 
subordinate directly to Headquarters, Army Ground Forces. Beginning opera- 
tions in August 1943, they certified that overseas replacements met medical 
requirements, had done qualification firing of their primary weapons, and were 
otherwise qualified for overseas duty. The depots reported individuals found 
deficient, with the names of the replacement training centers or of units from 
which such deficient individuals came. The Army Ground Forces thus obtained 
a check on the work of its replacement centers. The depots also issued clothing 
and equipment as needed, gave inoculations, took blood types, and otherwise 
processed the men in their charge. A training program was instituted at each 
depot to prevent deterioration in discipline, morale, and physical condition and 
to prepare men psychologically for overseas duty. Such training had to be flexible, 
since men remained in the depots for variable and unpredictable lengths of time, 
subject to shipment on seventy-two hours' notice from port commanders. Men 
held in a depot over thirty days were reported to the Army Ground Forces for 
reassignment. 13 

Improvement in the quality of replacements in the ground arms was soon 
noted. The Inspector General reported on 30 October 1943 that since the estab- 

11 (1) Memo of Lt Col Banville for Col Hyssong, i Feb 43, sub: Conference Relative to Decentralization 
of RTC Asgmt. 341/1024. (2) |See n. 5] (3) Memo (C) of Brig Gen A. R. Boiling for CG AGF, 21 May 43, 
sub: Visit to Shenango Pers Repl Dep. 353.02/12 (sep file)(C). 

"AGF M/S, G-3 to CofS, 3 Jun 43, sub: Conference AGF Operating Repl Deps and 15% Pools in 
RTCs. 354.1/238 (RTC). 

13 (1) WD memo WDGAP 322.96 for CG AGF, 22 Jun 43, sub: O'seas Repl System. 320.2/1 (Repl 
Deps). (2) AGF Itr (R) to Brig Gen F. B. Mallon, 30 Jul 43, sub: AGF Repl Dep #1, Ft Meade, Md. 320.2/4 
(Repl Deps) (R). (3) Same ltr to Gen Lockwood, re Repl Dep #2. 320.2/4 (Repl Deps)(R). (4) AGF ltr (S) 
to Repl Deps #1 and #2, 16 Aug 43, sub: Rpts from AGF Pers Repl Deps. 319.1/1 (AGF PRD)(S). (5) 
Rpts from depots in 319.1 (AGF PRD) (C). (6) AGF ltr to RStSC, AA Comd, Armd Comd, 23 Aug 43, 
sub: Analysis of Shipment of Enl Pars to AGF Pers Repl Depot #1. 220.3/2 (AGF PRD). (7) AGF ltr to 
Repl Deps #1 and #2, 11 Sep 43, sub: Tng Dir for AGF ZI Repl Depots. 320.2/119 (Repl Deps). (8) 
Papers in 353/1 (Repl Deps) showing steps taken by AGF to assure performance of qualification firing. (9) 
Papers in 333.1 /i (Repl Deps) on liaison o£ R&SC with depots. 


lishment of the depot at Fort Meade replacements reached the East Coast staging 
areas better equipped and clothed than before, and with more confidence and 
eagerness to go overseas, though a few had still not qualified with their primary 
weapons. 14 Reports from Italy received through the AGF Board were in general 
favorable. 15 The Fifth Army found that replacements were better than they had 
been in the Tunisian campaign and that infantry replacements in particular were 
good, though some had inadequate knowledge of their weapons. By the time of 
the Fifth Army reports (November and December 1943) infantry replacements 
had either benefited from the 17-week program in replacement centers or had 
come from units well along in their training. The fact that, despite all efforts, 
some men lacked proficiency with their weapons may be attributed to difficulties 
in the training and processing of certain types of specialists. 

Misassignment of replacements in the theaters could instantly nullify the 
effects of all training, however thorough, and of all methods of overseas move- 
ment and delivery, however much improved. But over such misassignment it 
was difficult for the War Department, and impossible for the Army Ground 
Forces, to exercise any direct control. To prevent misassignment the right number 
of men for each arm, and for each job in each arm, had to be supplied at the right 
time. The right number depended on the incidence of battle and nonbattle 
losses; the right time depended on the course of operations. Exact predictions 
were consequently impracticable, and estimates were all the more liable to error 
since forecasts had to be made six months in advance to allow for the time that 
elapsed between calls on Selective Service and receipt of replacements by units in 
the combat zone. 

Reapportionment of RTC Capacity, 1943 

In 1942 the apportionment of total RTC capacity among arms and services 
and among individual jobs in each arm and service had been based on needs 
for initial filling of units, not on anticipation of combat losses. When, after 
November 1942, combat developed on a significant scale, the requirements for loss 
replacements in the combat arms immediately mounted. Replacement needs in 
the services, except Engineers and Medical, were little affected by combat. In 
May 1943 the War Department took steps to orient the replacement centers more 

" (1) TIG memo (C) IG 333.9 Overseas Repl System (AGF) for CG AGF, 30 Oct 43, sub: Caliber of 
AGF Repls. 320.2/1 (O'seas Repls) (C). (2) AGF memo for CofS USA, 23 Oct 43, sub: Visit to AGF Repl 
Dep #1.353.02/249 (AGF) (sepfile). 

"AGF Bd Rpts #86-1, A-89-2, 111-117. 



definitely toward the production of combat replacements, estimating that 655,000 
replacements would be needed in the ground arms in 1944. 16 At a conference on 
18 May between representatives of the War Department G-3, the Army Service 
Forces, and the Army Ground Forces, it was decided to reduce annual ASF 
replacement capacity by 140,000 and to increase AGF annual capacity by the 
same amount. 17 The two commands were instructed to determine the actual 
capacities — numbers of men in training at a given time — required by each of 
their respective arms or services to produce the annual totals estimated as neces- 
sary for 1944. Immediate compliance was impossible for the Ground Forces since 
the actual capacity needed to produce a given number of replacements in a year 
depended entirely on the length of the training cycle, which was then in doubt. 18 
In July, when it was decided to adopt the 17-week training program, the 
Army Ground Forces submitted a calculation that an actual capacity of 277,800 
would be needed to meet the requirements estimated by the War Department. 19 
This represented an increase of about 75,000 over the capacity currently in effect. 
On 25 July Army Ground Forces issued instructions to the Replacement and 
School Command and to the Armored and Antiaircraft Commands apportioning 
the new capacity among individual replacement centers of the various arms. It 
was then decided that replacements returning from preembarkation furloughs 
should report directly to the new AGF replacement depots instead of to the 
replacement training centers from which they came. Less housing was thus 
required at replacement centers, and the figure of 277,800 was therefore cut by 
the War Department to 220,ooo. 2 ° Before corrective orders could be prepared for 
the field, the War Department produced new estimates adjusted to the revised 
Troop Basis of 1 July 1943. The new Troop Basis canceled ten divisions from the 
mobilization program. With fewer units for which to plan replacements, the 
War Department scaled down its earlier estimates, and on 23 August 1943 it 
prescribed an actual trainee strength of 203,000 for the AGF replacement centers. 
ASF centers were drastically reduced to 8i,ooo. 21 

10 WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (5-12-43) for CGs AGF, ASF, G-i, G-4, OPD, 12 May 43, sub: 
Capacity of RTCs. 354.1/4 (S). 

"WD memo (R) WDGCT 320 RTC (5-20-43) for CGs AGF, ASF, 20 May 43, sub as in n. 16. 
354-i/i7 (R)- 

"AGF memo (R) for G-3 WD, 15 Jun 43, sub as in n. 16. 354.1/17 (R). 

14 AGF ltr (S) to R&SC, AA Comd, Armd Comd, 25 Jul 43, sub: Increase in RTCs. 354.1 1 a, (RTC) (S). 

"(i) WD D/F (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (28 Jul 43), G-3 to G-i, 3 Aug 43, sub: Additional Pers 
Required for RTCs. 354.1/4 (RTC)(S). (2) WD D/F (S) WDGAP 320.2 (29 Jul 43), G-i to CG AGF, 
7 Aug 43, sub asin(i).354.i/4 (RTC)(S). 

81 WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC for CGs AGF, ASF, 23 Aug 43, sub: Capacity of RTCs. 354.1/4 



With a trainee strength of 203,000, to be in effect by 1 February 1944, the 
actual capacity set for AGF replacement training centers was almost identical 

with the actual capacity in effect since the earlier part of 1943. See Table No. 
This capacity, since it turned over fewer times per year under a 17-week than 
under a 13-week cycle, now was limited to producing annually about 135,000 
fewer replacements than before. 22 At the very time when large-scale ground oper- 
ations were beginning in Europe, and mounting casualties in the ground arms 
were consequently to be expected, manpower conditions in the United States were 
such that production of replacements in the ground arms was curtailed. In its 
directive of 23 August the War Department ordered that replacement center 
graduates must be used only for combat loss replacements, not for new units, in 
order "to guard against a breakdown of the replacement system." At the same 
time theaters were instructed, as a necessary measure of economy, not to carry 
more than 5 percent of their total strength in replacements. 23 A check was thus 
placed on the growth of a reserve of replacements, which was a condition pre- 
requisite to accurate assignment. Actually, in 1944 concealed overstrengths of 
replacements were built up in the theaters. 

Restrictions on total numbers made it the more important that the distribu- 
tion of output among arms and jobs should conform as exactly as possible to 
the incidence of actual losses. The readjustment of AGF replacement training 
center capacities in the summer of 1943, while not enlarging total AGF capacity, 
changed the proportion among the arms to meet anticipated combat losses more 
closely. The Infantry suffered the highest proportion of casualties. The propor- 
tion of AGF replacement trainees in the Infantry, formerly 37 percent, was 
projected in September 1943 to reach 67 percent by 1 February 1944. (See Table 
I No. i\ ) But, since no clear figures on actual casualties incurred to date by each 
arm were as yet available to the War Department, these projected capacities were 
subject to further change. 

The question of training the right number of men in individual specialties 
within each arm remained. As early as 12 March 1943 the Army Ground Forces, 
to clarify replacement planning, had requested the War Department to supply 
new requirements tables. 24 Such tables showed, for each arm, the number of 
enlisted men per 1,000 required for each job according to specification serial 

■ Estimate of C&RD, AGF. 
(1) WD ltr (R) AG 320.2 (31 Jul 4 3) PE-A-M -C to CGs AGF, AAF, ASF, theaters, etc., 20 Aug 43, 

sub: Utilization of Pers. 320.2/255 (R). (2) See n. 2i.| 

" AGF memo (S) for G-i WD, 12 Mar 43, sub: Supply of Loss Repls. 341/104 (S). 


I 9 I 

numbers. The SSN rates in current tables followed T/O requirements, making 
no allowance for casualties, since the system had been geared to the needs of 
mobilization. Replacements were being trained in the various specialties, such 
as SSN 745, Rifleman, and SSN 060, Cook, without regard to the fact that battle 
losses were far higher in some specialties than in others. According to the over- 
seas replacement procedure as codified by the War Department on 26 March 
1943, theater commanders, in requisitioning enlisted replacements, normally 
specified only the number required in each arm or service without regard to 
SSN's. 25 In filling the requisition the War Department included specialists 
according to rates per 1,000 based on T/O's. Riflemen and cooks were replaced 
on the same basis. If a theater commander needed more or fewer replacements of 
certain SSN's than the tables prescribed, and, if he knew his needs, he could 
specify SSN requirements in his requisition. Under this procedure, however, it 
was impossible to train in advance the right number of men in the various SSN's. 

The War Department was unable to comply with the AGF request of 12 
March to supply requirements tables. In June tables were provided for various 
theaters, but they still took no account of casualties. General McNair believed 
them inadequate as a guide for replacement center training. 28 On 26 July, in 
connection with planning the 17-week program, Army Ground Forces again 
requested new requirements tables. 27 Tables for each theater were desired, 
together with a weighted consolidated table reflecting the total of overseas needs. 
Should these not be available, figures were requested on the casualties in infantry 
and armored divisions in Tunisia, broken down by arm or service and by SSN, 
and on other aspects of the actual losses in North Africa. It was learned from 
G-i of the War Department that such figures were not immediately available. 28 

Up to this time the efforts of Army Ground Forces had been directed entirely 
toward securing revisions of requirements tables which would reflect differential 
attrition ratios for the various specialties. In June 1943 it was discovered that the 
preparation of requirements tables which would be realistic and suitable as a 
basis for planning replacement training presented another and more funda- 
mental problem. The crucial fact now noted was that AGF replacement centers 
did not train men in all the specialties listed in unit T/O's. Hundreds of different 

55 WD Memo W600-31-43, 26 Mar 43, sub: O'seas Repl System. 320.2/5990. 

" (1) AGF M/S (S), 21 Jun and 6 Jul 43. 320.2/10 (O'seas Repls)(S). (2) AGF M/S (S), 5 Aug 43. 
320.2/ 13 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

"AGF memo (S) forG-i WD, 26 Jul 43, sub: O'seas Loss Repls. 320.2/13 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

" WD D/F (S), G-i to CG AGF, 28 Jul 43. 320.2/13 (O'seas Repls)(S). 



specialties (SSN's) occurred in the T/O's of each arm. Only a small fraction of 
these — the more basic specialties — were trained by replacement training centers. 
Current requirements tables listed all SSN's used in each arm, giving a percent- 
age requirement for each. Such tables, even if revised to include up-to-date 
estimates of casualty rates, would be almost useless in planning replacement 
training because there would be no correspondence between the multifarious 
categories of demand and the restricted categories of supply. 

Although training might have been brought into conformity with unit 
requirements by instituting RTC training in all specialties found in Tables of 
Organization, such a complication of replacement training was undesirable 
and impracticable. The alternative was to bring requirements into conformity 
with the types of training being conducted, basing requirements tables on the 
limited number of SSN's trained. This solution required a scheme of translation 
by which SSN's required overseas, but not taught in the replacement training 
centers, could be regarded as derivatives from the basic SSN's being taught. After 
much study, involving both a determination of what training was being con- 
ducted and an analysis of all Tables of Organization to determine relationships 
among specialties, groupings of all SSN's of each arm were evolved. Around 
each basic SSN taught were grouped all the other SSN's of the arm, not produced 
by RTC training, into which a man with basic training could be expected to 
develop after appropriate on-the-job training and experience. Thus SSN 745, 
Riflemen, taught in the infantry replacement training centers, was parent to the 
following specialties : 

SSN 504, Ammunition Handler SSN 607, Mortar Gunner 

505, Ammunition NCO 651, Platoon Sergeant 

521, Basic 652, Section Leader, Gun 

566, Duty NCO 653, Squad Leader 

585, First Sergeant 695, Orderly 

590, Laborer 746, Automatic Rifleman 
604, Light Machine Gunner 

A demand for an Orderly, SSN 695, or for an Automatic Rifleman, SSN 746, was, 
as far as the infantry replacement training centers were concerned, a demand for 
a rifleman. Similar groupings were constructed for all other SSN's. 

Preparation of these SSN groupings, or conversion tables, was carried out 
during the period June-September 1943 by the AGF Classification and Replace- 
ment Division, in collaboration with representatives of the Adjutant General's 
Office. On 29 September Army Ground Forces requested new replacement 



requirements tables, to be based on the SSN groupings, which were now ready. 29 
The Adjutant General's Office declared itself willing to comply but unable for 
want of personnel. 30 Army Ground Forces detailed one captain, one warrant 
officer, and six enlisted men to compile data in the Adjutant General's Office. 31 
Preparation of requirements tables now became a relatively simple matter. 
Figures were available showing the rate per 1,000 at which men would be needed 
for each SSN in a combat arm. Adding together the separate rates for all SSN's 
in a group and the rate for the basic specialty gave the requirement per 1,000 for 
training in that basic specialty in the replacement centers. By the end of Novem- 
ber new requirements tables for the Infantry were ready. These were soon 
followed by tables for the other ground arms. 32 The machinery was established 
for planning replacement training in anticipation of future needs and in 
conformity with the training system in effect in the centers. 

In November 1943 the SSN groupings discussed above were published by the 
War Department as Circular 283, as a guide to commanders in requisitioning 
RTC-trained men to fill vacancies in their units. 33 

As a result of the steps taken during 1943 to improve the replacement 
system — the lengthening of the training cycle from thirteen to seventeen weeks 
and the introduction of administrative changes to assure that replacements 
arriving in the theaters would be properly qualified and ready for use — it was 
anticipated that replacements arriving in theaters would be distributed among 
arms and jobs in proportion to actual needs. It was hoped also that they would 
be assigned to positions for which they had been trained. With the adoption of 
the measures described above, which would be fully in effect by the early months 
of 1944, replacement production in the ground arms may be said to have shifted 
from meeting primarily mobilization requirements to meeting combat loss 

On 13 October 1943, after several discussions of the replacement problem 

" AGF memo for TAG, 29 Sep 43, sub: Computation of Loss RepI Rates. 220.3/1745. 
" WD Itr (R) AG 220.3 (5 Oct 43) OC-A to CG AGF, 5 Oct 43, sub as in n. 29. With atchd AGF M/Ss. 
320.2/1 (ReplDeps)(R). 

"■ (1 ) Memo (C) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 22 Oct 43, sub: Tng of Repls and AA Units. 353/123 (C). 
(2) AGF ltr (R) to CG Pers RepI Dep # 1 , 27 Oct 43, sub: Revision of Allotment of Pers to AGF Repl Dep # 1 . 
320.2/1 (ReplDeps)(R). 

"AGO memo (R), C&R Branch for Col Banville, AGF, 23 Nov 43, sub: Theater Inf Rqmt Rates. 
220.01/2 (R). 

" (1) AGF M/S, C&RD to G-i, 26 Oct 43, sub: Suggested Dir for Inauguration of New Requisitioning 
System. 341/ 1161. (2) Cir 283, WD, 6 Nov 43, sub: EM— Requisition for Repls Trained by AGF. 



with General McNair, General Marshall personally instructed him to concentrate 
his efforts "for the next two months" on replacement training and antiaircraft. 34 
After making a preliminary report on 22 October, General McNair proceeded 
with Maj. Gen. Harry F. Hazlett, commander of the Replacement and School 
Command, on a tour of AGF replacement training centers, replacement depots, 
and ports of embarkation. On 4 January 1944 he reported to General Marshall 
that he had found the quality of replacements excellent and their training 
adequate "within their classifications." 35 He noted that it was unreasonable to 
expect them to perform well overseas if misassigned — "which appears to be the 
prevailing procedure now." On the problem of the length of training he saw no 
reason why the training period might not be longer than seventeen weeks, but 
he believed that the cost in overhead required to extend it would be prohibitive. 
He concluded : 

In my judgment, the most serious aspect of the replacement situation is not in the 
replacement agencies, but is lack of manpower. Units of the Army Ground Forces today 
have a net shortage of 56,000 men. . . . Small units have been cannibalized . . . , distressing 
as such measures are. We now face the necessity of breaking up one or more divisions in 
order that other units may be made fit for combat. In short, the manpower budget is out 
of balance. Remedial action in this connection cannot be taken too soon. 
In the opinion of General McNair, the replacement issue was settled except for 
the crucial matter of supplying replacements in adequate numbers. 

The Quantitative Crisis in the Fall of 1943 

The acceleration of operations abroad, including the landing of the Seventh 
Army in Sicily in July 1943 and of the Fifth Army on the mainland of Italy in 
September, coincided with a severe crisis in the production of combat replace- 
ments in the Zone of Interior. Replacement training centers were unable to meet 
overseas demands, especially for infantrymen. This was due only in part to the 
fact that, through extension of the training cycle without enlargement of capaci- 
ties, monthly and annual output was reduced. The main causes of the immediate 
crisis were more transient. 

With the lengthening of the training cycle first to fourteen and then to 
seventeen weeks, trainees already in the centers were held some weeks beyond the 

"Memo (C) of Gen Marshall for Gen McNair, 13 Oct 43, sub not given. McNair Correspondence with 
CofS, Historical Records Sec, AGO. 

* (1) Memo 353/123 GNDCG (C) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 22 Oct 43, sub not given. Location 
as in n. 34. (2) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 4 Jan 44, sub: Tng of Repls. 320.2/10 (O'seas 



dates at which their graduation had been expected. Largely for this reason, the 
effective output of all AGF replacement training centers fell from about 40,000 
in June and July 1943 to about 19,000 in August and September; the effective 
output of infantry centers dropped fr om abo ut 20,000 in June and July to less 

than 8,000 in September. 36 (See Tables Nos. 3 and[4]) These losses due to prolon 

gation of the training of certain individuals could never be made up, but the loss 
due to extension of the cycle could be made up by increases in capacity in 1944. 

In October and November the effective volume of the replacement stream 
was increased to about 30,000; but the rise was retarded by the fact that the 
Army Ground Forces had been directed to give basic military training to 
inductees who had first qualified for the Army Specialized Training Program. 
To give this training, facilities for 30,000 trainees were set aside at AGF replace- 
ment training centers in June and July 1943. Less than a third of this number 
appeared, and consequently facilities for over 20,000 trainees in replacement 
training centers stood idle in July and August. Facilities for those ASTP candi- 
dates who appeared were used for men who were to be assigned to colleges and 
hence would not be available as replacements. Had it not been for the require- 
ments of the ASTP, 30,000 more men could have entered replacement training 
in June and July and been available in October and November to replace battle 
losses in Italy. Since reconversion of facilities reserved for the ASTP at replace- 
ment centers was not completed until December, the net loss in replacements 
due to the ASTP was estimated, not at 30,000, but at 45,000. In the fall of 1943 
room also had to be made at replacement training centers for about 8,000 ROTC 
students from the colleges, who on completing the RTC course went to officer 
candidate school, not into the stream of enlisted replacements. Hence 8,000 more 
potential replacements were lost. 37 

Not only were replacement training centers not being fully used to capacity, 
but also only 62 percent of the men entering training as replacements actually 
became available as such at the end of seventeen weeks during the last six months 
of 1943. This was the period of highest attrition in the entire history of the 
replacement training centers. In August and September, as noted above, only 
half of the trainees produced were available for assignment as filler and combat 

M The term "effective output," as used in the text and in Tables Nos. 3 and 4, means output in terms of 
the mission of replacement training centers — to supply trained replacements to T/O units in the United 
States and overseas. 

" Based on a study made by Lt Col W. S. Renshaw, Control Div, AGF G-i, in Jan 44. AGF G-i Control 
Div files. 



Distribution of Output from AGF Replacement Training Centers, 
March 1943-August 1945 

Year and 






in T7 S 

111 U, tJ« 



Special Service 



K 1 ) 



1 9 ftl C 

5 7,22 1 

An q aft 
4y, 050 

a 9fto 
5, Zoo 

a CQ7 

5, 5o / 

1 5,00 1 

a « ft 
55, 440 


a ^oi 
5,22 / 

1 3,53o 

19 f 318 

n cA 

5,2 lo 


1 o,uoo 

ao 9ni 

a rtrto 

1 41 9 


11 41ft 

in Oft9 

49 97JI 

9 oftn 

1 774 

S 770 

1 5j*a5 

1 O f\f\A 

1 414 
If 5 1 5 

1 ^44 

1 4 ft4 1 

S 1 97 

1 A Oftfl 

1 7ftO 

i» /o> 

1 SftO 

1 e 197 

1 ft ft4l 

a 1 7ftfl 
5 1,/ uo 

9 9ft4 

9 900 

1 3 749 
I 3, /4x 

1 A 117 

97 Q7Q 

1 aft 

a 9 1 q 
5,2 10 

1 4 1 no 

14, iyo 

1 7 ft 9 * 

1 /,Oi5 

a 1 9 a 

1 ft c 1 
1,05 1 

40 / 














3 1,170 








17 a 7 1 

1 /,5 / 1 

1 ft A 1 -> 
10,4 1 a 

a a 70a 
55, 7o5 

9 4ftft 

/ / 

-in mo 


*>fl rtft 1 

/{ r» aft 1 
4U,5t> 1 

9 1 < 1 
2,15 1 

2y, /us 

1 a si A. A 

1 5,004 

4 a cftn 

9 577 

X,5 / / 



















































































TOTAL 1943-45 







TABLE NO. 3— Continued 



Ypap and 








Tra iniflff 
A i a llll Ll £ 

Mr r Ugl JLIII 

Til cfnopffpn 
-L-/ lsl_llaI££CU 






1 04^ 









































7,21 1 








1 1,789 









































































1 04S 
















































TOTAL 1943-45 






Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 
* Includes shipments sent directly overseas in 1943. 



Distribution of Output from Infantry Replacement Training Centers, 
March 1943-August 1945 

Year and Month 

Effective Output 

Other Output 


in U. S. 



ann NnPfMfil 












































92 5 






1 X 

1 5,DOD 




























































































































TOTAL 1943-45.... 







TABLE NO. 4— Continued 



Year and Month 



































































































































































1 5,446 




















TOTAL 1943-45.... 






Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 
* Includes shipments sent directly overseas in 1943. 



replacements. Some lost by transfer to service schools or to the ASTP might later 
become available as replacements, but not before some months had elapsed. 

The loss rate at replacement training centers rose in the latter half of 1943 for 
several reasons. Many trainees of the highest intelligence were transferred to the 
ASTP — 40,018, or nearly 15 percent of the total RTC output. Others went to the 
Air Forces as aviation cadets. The number discharged for medical reasons 
mounted rapidly in consequence of War Department Circular 161 of July 1943, 
which permitted a more liberal policy of discharging physically unqualified men. 
In addition, about 10 percent of the men being sent to ZI depots by replacement 
training centers at this time were being disqualified at the depots because they 
did not meet physical requirements for overseas service. 38 

The War Department, which in August had warned against "a breakdown 
of the replacement system," took action to control attrition in the replacement 
training centers. It ordered that not more than 5 percent of RTC graduates 
should be sent to specialist schools. In November 1943 it was ordered that no 
trainees should be transferred in the future from replacement centers to the Air 
Forces or the ASTP. 39 This action came too late to be of much effect, for the 
ASTP was now recruited to nearly its full strength and could be expected to 
maintain itself by earmarking men at reception centers ; moreover, since 1 August 
the Air Forces had recruited at the reception centers all men who desired to apply 
for flying training. The result of such recruiting at reception centers was that, 
while the losses of the Ground Forces declined, the average intelligence rating of 
men received by the Ground Forces declined also. The results were the same with 
respect to physical quality. To stop the wholesale discharges which had followed 
Circular 161 the War Department issued Circular 293. Discharges at replacement 
training centers for physical reasons became fewer, but the number of poor 
physical specimens trained as combat replacements correspondingly increased. 

It is difficult to say what constitutes a breakdown of a replacement system. 
If the purpose of a replacement system is to keep units in combat at full strength 
without having to deplete other units intended for combat, then this purpose 

" (1 ) Additional details on losses at AGF RTC's during July-October 1943 will be found in Tabs A-i to 
AGF M/S (S), C&RD to CofS, 11 Nov and 23 Nov 43, sub: AGF RTCs in Relation to O'seas Shipment. 
354.1/9 (RTC)(S). (2) AGF M/S, C&RD to G-3, 14 Oct 43, sub: Losses of EM at AGF RTCs during Tng 
Cycles. G-3 Opns file 800 (Binder 2, 1943). (3) AGF ltr to CGs R&SC and AAC, 29 Mar 44, sub: Non- 
production of POR Qualified EM in RTCs. 341/1220. (4) AGF M/Ss, CofS to G-i, 3 May 43, G-i to CofS, 
5 May 43, and G-3 to CofS, 14 May 43, sub: Graduates from RTCs. 327.3/472. 

" (1) WD memo (R) for CGs AGF, ASF, AAF, 14 Aug 43, sub: Utilization of Pers. 320.2/255 (R). 
(2) WD memo WDGCT 320 (RTC)(i5 Nov 43) for CGs AGF, ASF, 15 Nov 43, sub: RTCs. 341/1173. 



was not fulfilled in 1943 and the replacement system broke down. At least it 
broke down in the Infantry. During the last six months of 1943 requirements for 
combat loss replacements in excess of the number available from replacement 
training centers were filled by withdrawing trained infantrymen from tactical 
units of the Ground Forces. In September the War Department had reaffirmed 
its intention to avoid this practice, but what was rejected as a policy became 
necessary as an expedient. 40 Demands for replacements increased to such a degree 
that nondivisional infantry regiments had to be broken up. By January 1944 
approximately 26,000 men had also been taken from the infantry regiments of 
unalerted divisions, leaving most of such divisions, on the average, about 2,000 
understrength. 41 By February 35,249 men had been taken from combat units as 
overseas replacements, and 29,521 had been transferred from low-priority units 
to fill vacancies in alerted units within the Army Ground Forces. 42 On 31 Janu- 
ary 1944, four months before the cross-Channel invasion of Europe, the total net 
shortage of enlisted men in AGF units was ^2,62^ 

The Problem of 18-Year-Olds 

Provision of replacements by the Army Ground Forces in 1944 encountered 
two major problems. One was created by the need of obtaining replacements in 
sufficient numbers from an ever dwindling supply, the other by the need of 
shifting replacements in and out of replacement training centers and tactical 
units to meet changing rules regarding the length of training and the age of 
replacements. The former problem troubled the Army Ground Forces through- 
out the last two years of the war. The latter first became serious in 1944. 

At the end of 1943 it was believed at Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, 
that the taking of replacements from divisions in 1943 represented a temporary 
measure. It was expected that the policy announced in September of keeping the 
undeployed tactical forces and the replacement training centers distinct would be 
followed in principle. It therefore came as a bombshell when, on 19 January 
1944, the Office of the Chief of Staff directed the Army Ground Forces to prepare 
a plan whereby all AGF units not scheduled for early shipment could be used as 

*° WD memo (S), G-i for CofS USA, 18 Sep 43, subs O'seas Repls. 320.2/16 (O'seas Repls) (S). 
" WD Gen Council Min (S), 17 Jan 44. 

" Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 7 Feb 44, sub: Repl Situation. 320.2/106 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

"Table, "Comparative Strength of Army Ground Forces, 31 Jan 44," 23 Feb 44. 320.2/102 
(Comparative Str)(S). 



sources of overseas replacements. The plan was to include a provision that over- 
seas replacements taken from units would be men who had had nine months of 
training. The vacancies created in units were to be filled with RTC graduates. 44 

In his reply to the Chief of Staff General McNair showed that a nine months' 
training requirement, if adhered to as a continuous policy throughout 1944, 
would tie up a large number of infantry divisions in the United States as exclu- 
sively training organizations — sixteen divisions according to War Department 
estimates of requirements for infantry replacements, or twenty-six divisions 
according to AGF estimates, which at the moment were 50 percent higher than 
those of the War Department. 45 According to the plan of deployment then in 
effect, only nine infantry divisions were expected to remain in the United States 
at the end of 1944. It was obvious that divisions could not be shipped according 
to the schedule made necessary by the impending invasion of France and at the 
same time produce replacements in the United States in anything approaching 
the needed numbers. Faced with this prospect, the War Department modified its 
instructions. It reduced the minimum training requirement for replacements 
from nine months to six and gave the Commanding General of the Army 
Ground Forces a certain discretion in withdrawing personnel from units to 
prevent divisions needed for prospective operations from being ruined in the 
process. 46 On 26 February 1946 the War Department ordered that "the greatest 
practicable proportion of replacements" supplied for overseas service in all the 
combatant ground arms should be obtained from units not scheduled to be 
shipped within six months. 47 

Behind this change of policy was a decision not to use as combat replace- 
ments the men currently being inducted into the Army. In 1944 half of these men 
were only eighteen years old; many of the remainder were older men with 
children, most of whom were known in the administrative language of the day 
as "pre-Pearl Harbor fathers," whose induction had previously been deferred. 
The question of the use to be made of young men 18 years old had become a 
matter of increasing Congressional concern. One of the original objectives sought 
by the lowering of the draft age in 1942 had been to give the ground combat 

u (i) WD memo (S) WDCSA 320.2 (16 Jan 44) for CG AGF, 19 Jan 44, sub: Combat Repls. 320.2/105 
(O'seas Repls) (S). (2) The surprise at AGF headquarters was reported in a statement of CofS AGF to AGF 
Hist Off, 2 Mar 44. 

"AGF memo for CofS USA, 25 Jan 44, sub: Repls. 320.2 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

" WD memo (S) WDGCT 370.5 (12 Jan 44) for CofS USA, 19 Feb 44, sub: Repls. WD G-3 370.5 (S). 
"WD memo (C) WDGCT 200 (26 Feb 44) for CG AGF, 26 Feb 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/107 (O'seas 
Repls) (C). 



forces an infusion of youth and physical vigor, and for this reason inductees of 
ages 18 to 20 inclusive had been assigned when possible to combat units and to 
the replacement training centers of the Army Ground Forces. In November 
1942, when this decision was made, all the ground combat units which needed 
fillers seemed likely to remain in the United States for a considerable period, and 
only a small minority of RTC graduates were being sent directly overseas. More 
of these were sent overseas as operations in North Africa developed, just when 
the first 18- and 19-year-olds were beginning to graduate. 48 

In May 1943 the Army Ground Forces, to which personnel assignment pro- 
cedures had recently been decentralized, raised the question whether these 
younger men should be sent into combat with only the current thirteen weeks' 
training, in view of the public understanding that teen-age men would receive a 
year of training. As a solution it was proposed that 18- and 19-year-old inductees 
be henceforth assigned to units and that inductees assigned to replacement 
training centers be men of 20 or over. 49 The War Department regarded differen- 
tiation in assignment according to age as unworkable, since activation of new 
units was coming to an end and almost all inductees would have to be assigned 
henceforth to replacement training centers. 50 Inductees therefore continued to 
be assigned without regard to age. The problem, however, was raised again 
toward the end of the year. The mounting severity of the Italian campaign 
created an increased demand for combat replacements. In December 1943 Gen. 
Dwight D. Eisenhower, then commanding the North African Theater, sug- 
gested, without making an urgent request, that replacements for his theater be 
obtained from divisions in the United States rather than from replacement 
training centers, giving as one of his reasons the extreme youth of many of the 
replacements arriving in that theater. 51 

The War Department was faced with a difficult decision. On the one hand, 
high casualty rates in the Infantry created an urgent need for combat replace- 

** (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 324.71 (11-12-42) for CofS USA, 12 Nov 42, sub: Use of 18-19 Age 
Gp. AGO Records (S). (2) AGF M/S (S), Enl Div to G-i, 1 Dec 42, sub: Conference — Use of 18 and 19 
Year-Olds in Army. 327.3/1 (S). (3) WD ltr (C) AG 327.3 (Drafted Men)(n-i2- 4 3) OC-E-WDGCT-M, 
5 Dec 42, sub: Asgmt of 18, 19 and 20 Year Old EM. AGF Policy File, 327.3/2 (Drafted Men)(C). (4) WD 
Gen Council Min (S), 7 Dec 42. 

"AGF M/S (C), G-i to CofS, 11 May 43, sub: Advisability of Sending Loss Repls in 18-19 Year 
Age Gp with 13 Weeks Tng. 341/174 (C). (2) AGF memo (C) for G-i WD, 4 Jun 43, sub: O'seas Repls 
within 18-19 Age Bracket. 327.3/9 (C). 

"TAG 1st ind on above to AGF, 29 Jun 43. 327.3/9 (C). 

n Rad (S) CM-IN-17276, Eisenhower to Marshall, 29 Dec 43. 320.2/169. (O'seas Repls) (S). 



ments; on the other, the sympathy of the American public for pre-Pearl Harbor 
fathers and teen-age youngsters made it undesirable to use the available trained 
replacements where they were needed most. To many it seemed unjust to send 
men in these two groups overseas as individual replacements without the moral 
support of belonging to an organized unit, while many men who were of the 
intermediate age levels or without family responsibilities, and who had been 
inducted two or three years before, remained in the United States in units not 
scheduled for immediate shipment. It was a question not only of fairness but also 
of the military value of the men concerned. At this time it was generally believed 
that the RTC graduate (with the 17-week training cycle now in effect) was 
sufficiently trained to be a competent soldier. But the opinions of commanders 
in the theaters were not unanimous on this point. It was not unnatural that some 
commanders overseas, contrasting their slender resources with the 50-odd divi- 
sions still at home, and noting the youth and unavoidable inexperience of their 
replacements, looked enviously at the personnel of the undeployed field forces 
in the United States. 

On 26 February 1944 the War Department issued a conditional ban against 
using 18-year-olds as replacements. It directed that the men taken from units 
were to have had at least six months' service, and that those of longest service be 
taken first. No 18-year-olds or pre-Pearl Harbor fathers with less than six months' 
training were to be shipped as replacements as long as men were available from 
other sources. Men were to qualify for overseas service, not under the high 
standards for individual replacements established in 1943 ("POR"), but under 
the less rigid requirements of "Preparation for Overseas Movement" ("POM"), 
which prescribed requirements for men going overseas as members of units. 52 
This relaxation of the standard permitted the sending of somewhat increased 
numbers of replacements. 

Extraction of men with at least six months' service from units in the United 
States took from them many of their most experienced soldiers and in many 
cases amounted to stripping them. General McNair believed that resort to such 
a procedure was not necessary to accomplish the purpose. He considered the 
current RTC graduates adequately prepared for battle with seventeen weeks of 
the kind of training that was now being given in AGF replacement training 
centers. He was strengthened in this conviction by a report made in March 1944 
by General Hazlett. During an overseas tour General Hazlett found that com- 
manders generally were satisfied with replacements coming directly from 



replacement training centers with seventeen weeks' training. He stated that RTC 
graduates were satisfactory if they were assigned to positions for which they had 
been trained, if the training and physical condition achieved at the replacement 
training center could be maintained during transit, and if units receiving replace- 
ments could absorb them in a continuous small stream instead of having to take 
large numbers at irregular intervals. There were still many cases in the North 
African Theater, General Hazlett reported, of misassignment of replacements 
by arm and job, of diverting them to overhead and service functions, of allowing 
them to deteriorate physically, and of pouring them into units in indigestible 
numbers a few days before the unit went into combat. 53 Headquarters, Army 
Ground Forces, believed that these administrative defects were the real cause for 
overseas complaints and that the stripping of AGF units to provide replacements 
with six months' training was not necessary. 54 

The decision, however, to collect replacements from units had already been 
made, and this policy was applied after February 1944. Since 80 percent of 
replacements had to be infantrymen, it was mainly infantry div isions and 
separate infantry regiments that were affected. (See Table No. 8/ Divisions 
recouped their losses by receiving men graduating from replacement training 
centers or made available through transfers from the Army Specialized Training 
Program and the Army Air Forces. In all divisions except those due for earliest 
shipment, there was generally an almost complete turnover of infantry privates 
and also a high turnover of infantry noncommissioned officers. 65 

The demand for replacements in the summer of 1944 rose to such a degree 
that even the drastic stripping of divisions failed to supply sufficient numbers. By 
June overseas replacements were again furnished in greatest numbers from RTC 
graduates with seventeen weeks of training. This situation endangered the War 
Department policy of not sending 18-year-olds into combat as individual replace- 
ments. Steps were taken to make the rule against the shipment of 18-year-olds 
even more rigid. Under the 6-month rule 18-year-olds with less than six months 
of training could not be used as overseas replacements in any combat arm as long 
as replacements were available from other sources. On 24 June 1944 it was ordered 

"R&SC ltr (S) GNRSG 319.1 (S) for CG AGF, 25 Mar 44, sub: Repls in ETOUSA and NATOUSA. 
320.2/126 (O'seas Repls) (S). See also 320.2/1 14 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

54 Statement (C) of CofS AGF to AGF Hist Off, 2 Mar 44. 

58 For the extent and the effects of this stripping of infantry divisions, see below ^The Building and~| 
Training of Infantry Divisions." 



that no man younger than nineteen should be shipped as an overseas infantry or 
armored replacement under any circumstances. 36 It was likewise ordered that no 
inductee younger than 18 years and 6 months should be assigned to an infantry 
or armored replacement training center. 57 

The age bans adopted in 1944 required a strenuous administrative effort to 
make ends meet. After June 1944 three-quarters of all men received by the Army 
from Selective Service were assigned to the Army Ground Forces; half of the 
new inductees were 18-year-olds; the overwhelming majority of the inductees 
received by the Army Ground Forces had to be assigned to the replacement 
training centers of Infantry and Armored to maintain the necessary quotas in 
these arms. Only the permissive assignment of 18%-year-olds to Infantry enabled 
Army Ground Forces to find places for the 18-year-olds it was receiving. 

The administrative difficulties created by the age rules are illustrated by 
the problem faced by the Army Ground Forces in June 1944. During that month 
about 37,000 men, who would be under 19 at graduation, were being trained in 
infantry and armored replacement centers. It was necessary to store these 
graduates until they reached the age of 19 or to assign them to units not scheduled 
for early shipment. Those who were nearest that age, that is, those who on 
graduation had reached the age of 18 years and 9 months, were stored and given 
further training as individual replacements. Infantrymen in this group were 
transferred to certain special nondivisional regiments which had recently begun 
to train replacements converted from other arms. Men trained for Armored were 
attached unassigned to the 13th and 20th Armored Divisions, which were 
expected to be among the last to go overseas. The 22,000 who graduated from 
replacement training centers while still under the age of 18 years and 9 months 
were distributed among fourteen infantry and three armored divisions not 
intended for immediate overseas shipment. To make up the loss to the replace- 
ment stream, these divisions gave up an equal number of their own men, who 
were shipped to the AGF replacement depots. 58 

At the same time the application of the age rules led to a deterioration in the 
physical quality of infantry and armored replacements. By July assignment had 

"WD memo (C) WDGCT 370.5 (24 Jun 44) to CG AGF, 24 Jun 44, sub: Rcpls. 320.2/107 (O'seas 

B WD D/F (C) WD GAP 220.3 » Mil Pers Div, ASF, sub: Repls. 320.2/107 (O'seas Repls)(C). 

M (1) AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 21 Jul 44, sub: Inf & Armd Repls under 19 Years of Age. 320.2/ 142 
(O'seas Repls) (S). (2) AGFltr (R) to CGs, 20 Jul 44, sub: Asgmt of 18-year-old IRTC Grads. 341/208 (R). 
(3) AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 27 Jul 44, sub: Tng Dir for Sep Inf Regts. 353/101 (Inf) (R). 



come to depend almost exclusively on age. Inductees under 18 years and 6 months 
had to be concentrated in the antiaircraft, field artillery, tank destroyer, and 
cavalry replacement training centers. Virtually all inductees over 18 years and 
6 months, including the oldest inductees and those who were borderline physical 
cases, had to be used to fill up the infantry and armored replacement centers. 59 
The result was a tendency to concentrate youth, alertness, and physical vigor in 
the artillery branches. The Physical Profile system, recently introduced with the 
objective of securing the strongest physical types for the Infantry, was rendered 
ineffective. Infantry and Armored, which needed the men with the highest 
endurance, had to fill out their ranks with many men least qualified in physique 
and age for these arduous arms. Moreover, it was no longer possible to withhold 
pre-Pearl Harbor fathers from the stream of combat replacements. 

This deterioration of infantry and armored replacements, together with 
administrative difficulties, forced a change in policy. On 4 August 1944 the ban 
on shipping 18-year-olds was rescinded, having lasted less than a month and a 
half. 60 Eighteen-year-old inductees could again be assigned to infantry and 
armored replacement centers, from which they began to be shipped as overseas 
replacements in December. 

Meanwhile damage had been done. Discharge rates at replacement centers 
rose abruptly in September 1944 and remained exceptionally high until the end 
of the year. This increase in discharges occurred mainly in infantry centers, which 
in July and August had received numerous men physically unfit for infantry 
duty. (See Tables Nos.3 andf^p) Replacement training facilities were thus wasted 
and the planned flow of replacements reduced at the very time when needed to 
sustain the offensive in Europe. Moreover, despite these numerous discharges 
many replacements of low physical quality reached the front. 

Within the divisions still in the United States the enforcement of the age 
rules had caused serious interruption of training and "a tremendous turnover in 
personnel. In April and May 1944, when the initial age rules began to have a 
substantial effect, approximately 120,000 enlisted men were sent to the AGF 
replacement depots for shipment overseas. Approximately 72,000 of these came 
from T/O units and overhead, the latter source supplying only a small propor- 

" (1) AGF M/S (C), C&RD to G-i, 3 Jul 44, sub: Physically Unfit Trainees. 220.3/3 (Limited Duty) 
(C). (2) AGF memo, G-i Enl Div to CofS, 4 Jul 44, sub: Visit to Reception Centers. 220.01/35 (Phys Prof). 
(3) Papers in 220.01/29 and /a (Phys Prof). 

M WD memo (S) WDGCT 370.5 (4 Aug 44) to CGs AGF, ASF, 4 Aug 44 sub: Repls. 320.2/142 
(O'seas Repls) (S). 




Enlisted Replacements Withdrawn from 
AGF Divisions, April-September 1944 


















13th A /B 

8th Armd 
1 3th Armd 
16th Armd 
20th Armd 
42d Inf 









































A C 





KA 1 


1 < 




























Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 

tion. From April to September 1944 some 92,000 enlisted replacements were 
supplied by twenty-two divisions. Every division leaving the United States later 
than September, except the 10th Mountain and the 14th Armored, underwent 
heavy stripping. The average loss per division between April and September was 
4,170 enlisted men, ranging from 1,652 taken from the 13th Airborne Division 
to 7,071 taken from the 76th Infantry Division. Seventeen infantry divisions lost, 
on the average, 3,933 infantry privates per division. Since under the T/O 
applicable in June 1944 there were only 6,195 privates in the three regiments of an 
infantry division, two-thirds of the infantry privates in seventeen divisions were 



replaced by newcomers. In some division s — the 65th, 76th, an d 97th — more than 
5,000 infantry privates were exchanged. (See Table No. 5.) 

In general, these divisions entered combat with less advanced and thorough 
training than divisions shipped earlier. The effect on the replacement stream was 
to supply for a few months overseas replacements who had had at least six months 
of training instead of four, and who were nineteen years old or over instead of 
eighteen. The amount of training given to 18-year-olds as replacements was 
not greatly affected since the policy was of short duration. At best it postponed 
their combat service as individual replacements by a few months. The principal 
advantage gained was to allow some 22,000 youngsters to enter combat as mem- 
bers of organized units with which they had had some association in training, 
rather than in the more difficult role of individual replacements. Whether this 
advantage offset the disadvantage of committing some twenty divisions to battle 
with imperfect training is a question that cannot easily be answered. 

The Problem of Numbers in 1944 

While the Army Ground Forces was struggling with the difficulties created 
by the age rules, it had to concern itself with the even more fundamental problem 
of providing overseas replacements in sufficient numbers. General McNair had 
consistently maintained that inadequacy of numbers underlay the entire 
replacement problem and on 4 January 1944 he reaffirmed this opinion: 61 

At no stage in our operations, including the present, has the supply of replacements 
been adequate. Due largely to this condition, overseas theaters have been forced to distribute 
incoming replacements without regard to the specialties in which they have been trained. 
There is no question in my mind that this enforced procedure is the principal cause of 
dissatisfaction with replacements. . . . Inductions are little more than sufficient to fill 
replacement training centers, and the latter so far have been unable to meet overseas demands. 

In May 1943 the War Department had estimated that 655,000 replacements 
would have to be produced by the ground arms in 1944 to cover both overseas 
losses and vacancies in divisions preparing for overseas shipment. In July 1943 
the Army Ground Forces had estimated that an RTC capacity of 278,000 would 
be necessary to produce this number of replacements in a year. 62 The War 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 4 Jan 44, sub: Tng of Repls. 320.2/101 (O'seas Repls)(S). 

M (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (5-12-43) for CGs AGF, ASF, 12 May 43, sub: Capacity of 
RTCs. (2) AGF ltr (S) to CGs R&SC, Armd Comd, AA Comd, 25 Jul 43, sub: Increase in RTCs. (3) AGF 
memo for CofS USA, 28 Jul 43, sub: Additional Pers Required for RTCs. All in 354.1/4 (RTC)(S). 



Department in September, after reducing the Troop Basis from 100 divisions to 
90 and then computing new estimates of losses, had cut this 278,000 to 203,000. 
This capacity could be expected to turn out an effective production of about 
400,000 replacements a year. But in November 1943 the War Department 
estimated that 431,000 replacements in the ground arms would be needed in 
1944 to meet both overseas and Zone of Interior requirements. 63 

Fully as important as total numbers, if replacements were to be used in 
positions for which they were trained, was the breakdown of these numbers by 
branch. In its estimates of May 1943 the War Department had anticipated that, 
of the 655,000 replacements needed in 1944, 380,000, or 58 percent, should be 
infantry. The Army Ground Forces, in planning a total RTC capacity of 278,000, 
had accordingly planned a capacity of 161,000 in infantry replacement centers. 
At the time when total capacity was cut to 203,000 the infantry ratio had been 
raised, with the result that the capacity to be attained in infantry replacement 
training centers in January 1944 had been set at 136,900, or 67 percent of the 
total. (See Table No. 1.) Under a 17-week cycle an infantry capacity of 136,900 

could be expected, allowing for attrition, to produce annually in the neighbor- 
hood of 275,000 infantry replacements. But the War Department estimate of 
November 1943 called for 293,000 infantry replacements in 1944, or 68 percent 
of all ground arms replacements. 

As it turned out, the Army Ground Forces in 1944 provided for overseas use 
alone, not counting replacements assigned to units before sailing, 501,038 enlisted 
replacements in all arms, of whom 404,446, or 80 percent, were in Infantry. (See 

Table No78T)l This was accomplished by raising the capacity of AGF replacement 

training centers in 1944 and by various supplementary measures. 

On 7 February 1944 the Army Ground Forces recommended an increase of 
AGF replacement training center capacity from 203,000 to approximately 
26o,ooo. 64 This was immediately authorized by the War Department. But the 
increase of monthly output would not occur until July, and in the meantime new 
demands for overseas replacements made even higher production rates advisable. 

As late as December 1943 the War Department had estimated that replace- 
ment requirements for all purposes in the ground arms, from March through 

"Tab A, "1944 Loss Repls by Branch," to AGF M/S (S), C&RD to CG, 16 Dec 43, sub: Tng Rqmts. 
341/129 (S). 

64 (1) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 7 Feb 44, sub: Repl Situation. 320.2/ 106 (O'seas Repls) 
(S). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (17 Feb 44) for CGs AGF, ASF, 17 Feb 44, sub: Capacity of 
RTCs. 354.1/102 (RTC)(S). 



Distribution of Replacement Output 
from Separate Infantry Regiments, 
March 1944-March 1945 





















































Year and Month 







October. . . 

January. . 
March . . . 




Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 

June 1944, would run to 33,000 a month. 65 In fact AGF replacement training 
centers produced during this period a monthly average of approximately 40,000 
available replacements. But at the same time overseas theaters were taking an 
average of approximately 48,000 replacements a month, and the European 
Theater of Operations alone an average of approximately 27,500 a month. This 
demand not only left no surplus of graduates from which to fill up vacancies 
in units preparing to move over seas, bu t also made it necessary to create still more 
vacancies in units. (See Tables Nos. 3| ancf8"]) To meet these new demands still 
more men had to be withdrawn from divisions in the Army Ground Forces. 
Already men were being taken from divisions to supply replacements with six 

""Training Requirements, March, April, May, 1944, 1 Nov 43," incl to WD Itr (S) AG C&R Branch 
to CG AGF, 29 Nov 43, sub: Tng Rqmts. 320.2/710 (S). (2) "Training Requirements, April, May, June 
1944, 1 Dec 43," incl to WD ltr (S) AG C&R Branch to CG AGF, 7 Jan 44, sub: Tng Rqmtt. 320.2/710 (S). 
(3) Estimates made by ETO, as known to the War Department in December 1943, called for an average of 
less than 20,000 enlisted replacements a month from February through July 1944. See memo (S) 
SPGAR/200.3 ETO (24 Nov 43) for CG AGF, 8 Dec 43> sub: Pers for ETO. 320.2/150 (ETO)(S). 



months' training. Vacancies created by the latter withdrawals were filled with 
graduates of the replacement centers. To fill the additional vacancies, and to 
make up shortages from which AGF units had suffered since the earlier 
stripping in the last months of 1943, the War Department virtually dissolved 
the Army Specialized Training Program, transferring 73,000 ASTP trainees 
to the Ground Forces, and assigning to the Ground Forces 24,000 surplus aviation 
cadets, most of whom had been in the Ground Forces before their selection 
for flying training. The Army Ground Forces assigned the young men thus 
obtained chiefly to the infantry elements of depleted divisions. Used in this way 
as replacements, though not as overseas replacements, they supplemented the 
output of replacement training centers. Since they were assigned to divisions not 
intended for overseas movement until August 1944 or later, they had time to 
acquire or reacquire infantry training. 68 

Meanwhile the War Department had sharply raised its estimates of replace- 
ment requirements for 1944. Having estimated in November 1943 that the Zone 
of Interior would have to produce 431,000 replacements in the ground arms for 
the whole of 1944, it reached the conclusion in February 1944 that the Zone of 
Interior would have to produce 352,000 in the last half of 1944 alone. The esti- 
mated requirement for Infantry was at the same time raised from 67 to 73 percent 
of the requirement for all ground arms. This would require the production of 
257,000 infantry replacements for the second half of the year, instead of 293,000 
previously estimated by the War Department as sufficient for the full year. 87 It 
became apparent that the increase of RTC output due to begin in July would be 
insufficient. The Army Ground Forces calculated, on the basis of the new War 
Department estimates for the last six months of 1944, that RTC production, even 
with the increased capacities authorized in February, would fall short of require- 
ments by 120,000, and that the shortage of infantrymen alone would be about 
67,ooo. 88 To meet this emergency new sources of replacements had to be found. 
With divisions approaching their dates for overseas shipment they were no 
longer an available source after August 1944. Antiaircraft and tank destroyer 
units therefore had to be inactivated at a more rapid rate than Troop Basis 
planning had envisaged. 09 Their personnel were for the most part transferred to 

*° See above J^The Procurement of Enlisted Personnel : the Problem o£ Quality." 

" Tab B, "Estimate o£ Loss Replacements, Six Months (Jul-Dec 44)," to AGF M/S (S), CScRD to CofS, 
7 Mar 44, sub: Tng Rqmts. 320.2/710 (S). 

"AGF memo (S) for G-3 WD, 13 Mar 44, sub: Repls. 320.2/114 (O'seas RepIs)(S). 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 3 Apr 44. 



the Infantry. A program of voluntary transfer to the Infantry from other 
branches was also inaugurated. 

For the training of these new men the Army Ground Forces used nine 
nondivisional infantry regiments obtained by transfer from defense commands 
or other assignments in which they were no longer needed. Each regiment, 
reduced to a training cadre, functioned as a small replacement training center 
specializing in the production of infantry riflemen. Since the transferred per- 
sonnel were already trained as soldiers, the regiments gave them only eight weeks 
of infantry retraining — later reduced to six — with some additional training for 
noncommissioned officers. The regiments were also used, as noted above, to store 
and give further training to the older group of 18-year-olds graduating from 
replacement training centers in July and August. 70 

In transferring ASTP trainees and aviation cadets to the Ground Forces, 
and converting tank destroyer and antiaircraft personnel to infantrymen, the 
Army was providing replacements from sources within its already existing 
strength. This policy had to be applied with increasing vigor because the total 
strength of the Army was over its authorized ceiling. In July 1944, while author- 
ized or Troop Basis strength was only 7,700,000 officers and men, actual strength 
was approximately 8,000,000. The War Department, intending to cut back to 
Troop Basis strength, planned to reduce its calls on Selective Service to 60,000 a 
month. It was becoming difficult in any case, with requirements of the Navy and 
Marine Corps remaining at a high level, to obtain for the Army more than 
60,000 inductees a month who were physically qualified. 

This change in the source of AGF replacements made desirable a revision 
in the capacity of replacement training centers. Set up to train inductees, these 
centers were not the most suitable agencies for retraining men procured from 
other branches of the Army. Consequently, in August 1944 the capacity of AGF 
replacement training centers was reduced from 259,800, the level authorized in 
the preceding February but not actually attained in terms of output until July, 
to 241,700, a figure that remained substantially unchanged through December. 
'See Table No. 1/ 

Several other factors also affected the situation. Casualties during the first 
three months after the landing in Normandy were lighter than had been 
expected. The European Theater of Operations had a reserve of replacements 

™ (1) AGF Itr to CGs, 16 Apr 44, sub: Tng Dir for Sep Inf Regts. 353.01/112. (2) AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 
27 Jul 44, sub as in (1). 353/ 101 (In£)(R). 



built up since March and was in fact carrying an overstrength in replacements 
in excess of the authorized reserve. Moreover, the War Department had 
attempted, through a conference of theater representatives in April and by 
subsequent directives, to have the theaters provide more fully for their replace- 
ment needs from their own resources by converting and retraining as combat 
soldiers surplus personnel in overhead, service, antiaircraft, and other installa- 
tions in the theaters. 71 Conversion in the theaters was slow in reaching significant 
proportions, but it had at least been initiated. 

Demand on the Zone of Interior for replacements therefore eased slightly in 
the late summer and the fall of 1944. It was even thought that RTC output in 
some arms would exceed immediate needs and that reserve pools might be built 
up. On 12 October 1944 the War Department instructed the Army Ground 
Forces to establish "temporary advanced training facilities" for replacements, in 
addition to facilities in the replacement training centers and the nine separate 

• 72 


These temporary centers were called infantry advanced replacement training 
centers (IARTC's). They were intended to give "postgraduate training" to 
graduates of infantry replacement training centers, similar training to certain 
numbers of graduates of other AGF replacement training centers except antiair- 
craft, and infantry conversion training to men converted from other branches 
under the policy of reducing the Army to Troop Basis strength. It was thought 
that these temporary centers would disappear as the Army approached its author- 
ized strength of 7,700,000. But this time never came ; the Army, instead of shrink- 
ing, continued to grow until the defeat of Germany. The temporary centers 
became an essential feature of the replacement system, and with sudden new 
demands for replacements their original function was lost sight of. 

No pool of RTC graduates ever accumulated. The term "advanced training" 
proved a misnomer. The new centers concentrated on the retraining of men 
converted from other branches to Infantry, and their primary aim became the 
production of infantry riflemen as rapidly as possible. 

This mission became most urgent as casualties mounted with the Allied 
assault on the Siegfried Line in the fall of 1944. To meet the emergency the War 
Department ordered the Air and Service Forces to transfer physically qualified 

71 (1) WD Gen Council Min (S), 3 Apr 44. (2) WD lcr (S) 320.2 (19 Aug 44) AGOC-E-C to CGs of 
Theaters, 23 Aug 44, sub: Repls. C&RD files. 

™ (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 353 (12 Oct 44) for CG AGF, 12 Oct 44, sub: Additional Temporary 
Repl Tng. 353/218 (S). (2) WD Gen Council Min (S), 15 Oct 44. 



men from their Zone of Interior installations to the Army Ground Forces for 
infantry retraining. About 100,000 men were thus transferred for retraining at 
IARTC's between November and May'1945. 73 During the first month of their 
operation, November 1944, IARTC's received most of their trainees from AGF 
sources. From December through April 1945 most of the trainees were men 
transferred from the Air and Service Forces. In the six months preceding V-E 
Day, the IARTC's dispatched approximately 100,000 men to AGF overseas 
replacement depots, and provided an additional 15,000 replacements to T/O 
units in the Zone of Interior. (See Table No. 7.) 

With the help of the above-mentioned emergency measures the Army 
Ground Forces was able to meet the sudden and unanticipated demands for 
enlisted replacements during 1944. The number actually supplied to all the 
ground arms exceeded the highest forecast previously made — that of the War 
Department in May 1943 of 655,0.00. Although the total number of replacements 
produced for ground combat units overseas and in the Zone of Interior during 
1944 cannot be stated exactly, it amounted to approximately 700,000 men, of 

w See above, "The Procurement of Enlisted Personnel: the Problem of Quality." 


Distribution of Output from Infantry Advanced 
Replacement Training Centers, November 1944- August 1945 

Year and 

ZI Depots 

T/O Units 


Died and 



in U. S. 












































































TOTAL. . . 








Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 



whom 501,038 were shipped overseas. The actual provision of infantry replace- 
ments in 1944 diverged even more widely from earlier anticipations. In May 1943 
the War Department had estimated 1944 requirements at 380,000; and in 
January 1944 Army Ground Forces estimated that 302,000 infantrymen would be 
required during the year. 74 The number of infantry replacements actually pro- 
vided to units overseas and at home was approximately 535,000, of whom 
404,446 were shipped overseas. 75 

Further Changes in Replacement Procurement, 1944-4$ 

The War Department on 8 November 1944 notified the theaters that the 
capacity of the Zone of Interior to furnish replacements was limited and urged 
them to prosecute their own conversion programs with increased vigor. Each 
theater was given a specific figure for the number of officer and enlisted replace- 
ments it could expect to receive from the Zone of Interior, as shown in the 
following tabulation: 76 

Monthly Average of Officer and Enlisted Replacements 
to be Furnished by Zone of Interior 

Branch European 







Ocean Areas 


All Ground Arms 42,060 





Infantry Only (35,800) 

(7,000 ) 




All Services 

(except for AAF) 1,530 





TOTAL 43,590 





The War Department estimated at this time that total replacement requirements 
through April 1945 would amount to 80,000 or 90,000 a month. 77 The difference 
between these requirements and what the Zone of Interior could produce was to 
be made up by retraining of rear-area personnel in the theaters of operation. 

74 Tab F to AGF memo (S) 320.2 (O'seas Repls) GNGPS for CofS USA, 25 Jan 44, sub: Repls. This 
includes a chart comparing AGF with previous WD estimates. WD G— 3 Records, 370.5 (S). 

"These estimates of the number of enlisted replacements actually supplied in 1944 to units of the 
ground combat arms differ from the figures in Table No. 2; the former include ASTP men and aviation 
cadets as well as the trainees produced by separate infantry regiments, while the latter include all men trained 
at replacement centers, irrespective of their ultimate assignment or disposition. 

" WD ltr (S) 320.2 (30 Oct 44) AGOC-E-C to CGs of Theaters, 8 Nov 44, sub: O'seas Repls. 320.2/166 
(O'seas Repls) (S). 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 13 Nov 44. 


2I 7 

On 7 December 1944 G-i and G-3 of the War Department and the Chief of 
Staff, the G-i and the G-3 of the Army Ground Forces, together with other 
officers concerned, held a conference to review once more the question of over- 
seas replacements. 78 The Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces recommended that 
the capacity of infantry replacement training centers be raised by 160,000 in 
order to produce 40,000 more infantry replacements a month. Reports at this 
time indicated a daily loss rate in ETO of 3,000 per day in battle casualties alone, 
or more than 90,000 per month. The Army Ground Forces was obtaining only 
53,000 men a month from reception centers. The flow of Air and Service Forces 
personnel into the IARTC's was reported by the Army Ground Forces to be 
lagging. Officers at the conference explained that the Service Forces had virtually 
no enlisted men left who were of high physical quality, and that the Air Forces, 
if required to produce more men for conversion to infantry riflemen, would be 
obliged to send sergeants trained in specialties peculiar to the Air Forces. Never- 
theless, it was decided that the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Forces 
must meet their quotas. Moreover, a request to raise monthly calls on Selective 
Service to 100,000 was to be made, and if necessary the RTC training cycle was 
to be reduced from seventeen to fifteen weeks, even though such action would 
produce only transient relief. All agreed that the training of the 6-week retrainees 
was insufficient for infantry service. But since they would have to be used in 
increasing numbers they were to be identified clearly to the theaters as men 
requiring further training overseas. 

About the same time, steps to force a higher rate of effective output at the 
replacement training centers were taken. In the last four months of 1944 the 
attritional loss among inductees put into a replacement training center had risen 
to 26 percent. On 12 December 1944 the War Department ordered that in the 
future 95 out of every 100 should be graduated and made available, even if this 
involved some lowering of physical and training standards. 79 The Army Ground 
Forces pointed out the difficulties of such a course. 80 Most of the loss was due to 
discharge on physical grounds, which was caused by the low physical quality of 
inductees received by the Army. In December 1944, 14 percent of trainees in 

™ M/R (S), AGF G-i Enl Sec, 7 Dec 44, sub: O'seas Repl Rqmts. 320.2/170 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 370.5 (12 Dec 44) for CG AGF, 12 Dec 44, sub: Pers Repls for O'seas Serv, 
320.2/168 (O'seas Repls)(S). 

"Draft memo (S) prepared by AGF C&RD, used as basis of conference with G-3 WD, dated 14 Dec 44. 
320.2/168 (O'seas Repls) (S). 


Overseas Shipments of AGF Enlisted Replacements, 
September 1943-August 1945 

Year and 

All Theaters 

European Theater 











































61,9 lo 











































































































5 5,921 




































































TOTAL 1943-45 

















Source: C&RD, GAG Sec, Hq AGF. 



replacement training centers had to be "reprofiled" downward after six weeks 
of training. 81 This meant that already many men were being retained as combat 
replacements who were below desired physical standards for their jobs. Under 
these circumstances the War Department was forced to modify its directive of 12 
December. It continued to adhere to the principle of maximum output at replace- 
ment training centers but permitted more exceptions to the 95-percent rule. 82 
Cases of discharge were to be scrutinized closely. The fact that men discharged 
on physical grounds would generally have to be replaced by men who were no 
better was to be given careful consideration. Under the new directive the dis- 
charge rate at infantry replacement training centers fell off abruptly. 

The German offensive of 16 December 1944 and the ensuing "Battle of the 
Bulge" came at a time when the replacement system in the Zone of Interior was 
strained to the utmost. The suddenly increased losses in Europe forced the War 
Department to raise its commitment for replacements to ETO for January by 
20,000. To provide an immediate increase of infantry replacements the training 
program was shortened to fifteen weeks. 83 It was decided not to take replacements 
from the few divisions still at home but to ship all remaining divisions to Europe. 
For a time following the Ardennes offensive preembarkation furloughs of RTC 
graduates were cut to five days, and men whose homes were more than twenty- 
four hours distant by rail were shipped by air. 84 The measures taken simply drew 
on the future to satisfy the present; they did not increase the number of replace- 
ments produced. To increase the number, further calls had to be made on the Air 
Forces for conversion to Infantry, and the Selective Service call was raised to 
80,000 for January. 85 

In general, however, it was believed both by the War Department and the 
headquarters of the Army Ground Forces that the European Theater of Opera- 
tions would have to meet a large part of its future replacement needs out of its 
own resources. The G-i of ETO, who attended conferences in Washington on 
23 and 28 December 1944, was told that the Zone of Interior was seriously 
depleted. 86 Any increase in the shipment of replacements to ETO would have to 
be made largely at the expense of other theaters. With the Army considerably 

" WD Gen Council Min (S), 4 Dec 44. 

" WD memo (S) WDGCT 370.5 (15 Dec 44) for CG AGF, 15 Dec 44, sub: Pers Repls for O'seas Serv. 
320.2/168 (0'seasRepls)(S). 

" AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 21 Dec 44, sub: WD Conference on Repls. 320.2/172 (O'seas Repls)(S). 
" AGF memo (C) for G-3, WD, 11 Jan 45, sub: Movement of Inf Repls. 320.3/135 (O'seas Repls) (C). 
" WD Gen Council Min (S), 26 Dec 44. 

" Minutes of these conferences are on file in 320.2/173 (O'seas Repls) (S). 



overstrength and induction calls therefore subject to restriction, combat soldiers 
had to be furnished by conversion and retraining within the Army. Since the 
bulk of the Army was in the European Theater of Operations and the supply in 
the United States of personnel fit for reassignment to combat duty was disappear- 
ing, the process of conversion and retraining would in the future have to be 
carried on to an ever increasing extent in Europe. Moreover, retraining in 
Europe would produce quicker results than retraining in the United States, since 
time spent by replacements in furloughs and in transit would be saved. It was 
agreed to accelerate the program of combing physically qualified personnel from 
the communications zone in ETO, retraining them as combat soldiers, and of 
retraining partially disabled men in the theaters to take over rear-area jobs. Lt. 
Gen. Ben Lear, transferred in January 1945 from command of the Army Ground 
Forces to be Deputy Commander of ETO, was charged with the supervision of 
this retraining program in the theater. 

In December 1944, despite the emergency measures in the second half of the 
month, the number of replacements shipped to ETO turned out to be less than 
the War Department quota for that month set on 8 November. Thereafter, until 
the collapse of Germany was in sight, the shipment of replacements to ETO 
greatly exceeded the commitments of 8 November. On 8 January 1945 com- 
mitments of the Zone of Interior to ETO for the period from February to June 
were revised upward but were largely balanced by corresponding reductions in 
commitments to other theaters as indicated in the following table: 

Monthly Average of Officer and Enlisted Replacements 
to be Furnished by Zone of Interior 






Branch Theater 





All Ground Arms 54)874 





Infantry Only (48,900) 





All Services 

(except for AAF) 1,142 





TOTAL 56,016 






of 8 Nov 44 43,590 



T 3,35° 









It is evident that, while the gain in replacements for ETO was obtained mainly 
by curtailment of allowances to other theaters, the Zone of Interior would still 
have to furnish about 6,000 more replacements each month than had been 
intended on 8 November. The gain in numbers had to be at the expense of 
quality. The War Department explained to the theaters in a letter of 8 January 
that "the present exceedingly large over-all demands for infantry replacements 
can be satisfied even in part only by use of men who are not fully qualified 
physically for infantry duty and by waiver of minor training deficiencies." 87 

Actual shipment of officer and enlisted ground arms replacements to ETO 
allocated on 8 November and 5,723 more than the augmented allocation of 8 
November. In February the figure reached 60,597, or I ^»537 more than had been 
allocated on 8 November and 5,723 more than the augmented allocation of 8 
January. In March ETO received 58,555 replacements, or 3,681 more than allo- 
cated on 8 January; in April, 46,302; in May, with Germany defeated, only 537. 
All told, from January to April, inclusive, the Zone of Interior supplied 230,005 
replacements in the ground arms to ETO, of whom 195,912 were in Infantry. 
To all theaters, in these four months, the Zone of Interior supplied 309,668 officer 
and enlisted replacements in the ground arms, about 38,348 more than had been 
allocated on 8 November. 1 See Table No. 9.) 

It was the IARTC's that made possible the shipment of such large numbers. 
Other replacement training centers, operating at relatively low levels in Decem- 
ber 1944, limited by the number of men received from Selective Service, and 
requiring in any case at least fifteen weeks to train a replacement, reacted slowly 
to any emergency. They sent 169,897 graduates to the depots from January to 

April 1945. [See Table No. 3.' In the same months 101,703 six-week retrainees 
were sent to the depots, of whom 9,746 were from the separate infantry regiments 
and 91,957 from the IARTC's, which in January were just beginning to graduate 
the AAF and ASF men put into them at the end of November. (See Tables Nos. 
[6]andr7T) In January and February 1945 more than 43,000 AAF and ASF men 
were put into the IARTC's for conversion into riflemen. 

Had severe fighting in Europe been protracted much beyond April 1945 it 
is difficult to see how the necessary replacements could have been supplied from 
the Zone of Interior. Possibilities for conversion and retraining in the United 
States were exhausted. Input into the IARTC's began to decline in January 1945. 
After December 1944 virtually no infantry retrainees were provided to the 

" WD kr (S) 320.2 (6 Jan 45) AGOC-E-C to CGs of Theaters, 8 Jan 45, sub: O'seas Repls. 320.2/174 
(O'seas Repls) (S). 




Overseas Shipments of AGF Officer and 
Enlisted Replacements, by Theaters, 
September 1943- August 1945 

Year anH 

XT J. \J 11 uu 








September. . . 









November. . . 











T o mi a i^r 

































September. . . 









November. . . 





December. . . . 












































East Theater* 

Infantry Other 







Infantry Other 










TABLE NO. 9— Continued 

Year and 

September. ■ 
October. . . , 
November. . 
December. . 

February. . . . 

March. , 






September. , 
October. . . 
November. , 
December. . 

February. . . 












Pacific Theater 







































































































































































































Source: C&RD, GAG, Hq AGF. 

* Includes North American and Latin- American Theaters. 

* Includes Central Africa. 

e Includes North African Theater. 


IARTC's by AGF units, and after March 1945 virtually none by the Service and 
Air Forces. At the same time the output of separate infantry regiments used for 
conversion training tapered off, no graduates being produced after March. It was 
fortunate that the decline in output from these sources had not come earlier. 

Foreseeing the decline of the conversion program in the United States, and 
anticipating that most replacements furnished by the Zone of Interior after May 
1945 would have to come from Selective Service, the War Department in January 
1945 raised the monthly induction call for the spring months to 100,000. It also 
authorized an increase in the capacity of AGF replacement training centers. 
Their authorized capacity was raised from approximately 246,000 to approx- 
imately 366,000 — by far the largest increase in the entire history of the war. The 
capacity of infantry replacement training centers was stepped up from 197,000 
to 317,000, or from 80 to 87 percent of the total capacity in the ground arms. (See 
[Table No. Some IARTC's were converted in February and March to normal 
infantry replacement training centers ; that is, facilities used to give six weeks' 
retraining in Infantry to men from other branches were directed to give fifteen 
weeks of infantry training to inductees. 88 

The ensuing increase in RTC output began to make itself evident in May. 
By that time replacement shipments to Europe had almost ceased. With victory 
in Europe a new restriction on the use of 18-year-olds was imposed, this time by 
legislation. The Army was forbidden to send any 18-year-old overseas with less 
than six months' training. Since half of the incoming inductees were 18-year-olds 
and virtually all were assigned to replacement centers, this legislation in effect 
dictated the replacement training program which the Army now had to follow. 
In May almost half the graduates of replacement training centers were assembled 
in special centers for the completion of six months' training. The 6-month 
training requirement for 18-year-olds did not in the long run reduce the number 
of replacements available, but it did introduce an element of inflexibility into 
their disposition. It likewise made planning more difficult by requiring that 
replacement needs be projected further into the future. It had proved hard 
enough to make advance provision for replacements when only seventeen weeks 
were needed to produce them. With six months necessary to produce half the 
replacements obtainable, any accurate forecast of combat requirements was par- 
ticularly difficult. 

" (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 RTC (16 Jan 45) for CG AGF, 16 Jan 45, sub: Capacity of RTCs. 
354.1/122 (RTC)(S). (2) AGF Itr (S) to CG R&SC, 30 Jan 45, sub: Capacities of IRTCs. 354.1/122 



In June 1945 it was believed that replacements would still be needed in large 
numbers despite the cessation of demands from Europe. Replacement shortages 
had accumulated in other theaters during the crisis in ETO, and it had to be 
anticipated that operations in the Pacific would become much more extensive. 
Moreover, the discharge policies of the War Department were creating many 
vacancies which had to be filled immediately. 

In May 1945 the War Department directed a moderate reduction in the 
capacity of AGF replacement training centers. Total RTC capacity was reduced 
from about 366,000 to 291,000, and that of infantry centers from 317,000 to 
255,000. See Table No. 1.) The Redeployment Troop Basis, issued on 15 

March 1945, had provided for a sharp cut in RTC capacity to 180,000 after V-E 
Day. Army Ground Forces, regarding this as a measure likely to reintroduce the 
vicious cycles in which training and replacement production had been caught 
during the two-front war, protested against the proposed reduction. In the 
July revision of the Troop Basis the figure was raised to 245,000. 89 Actual trainee 
capacity of AGF replacement training centers reached a wartime peak of over 
400,000 in June 1945, and declined to about 300,000 in August. 90 V-J Day came 
too early to furnish any evidence on the efficiency of the replacement system in a 
one-front war. 

M (1) WD Redepl TB (S), 15 Mar 45. AGF G-3 Mob Div files. (2) WD Redepl TB (S), 1 Apr 45. 
320.2/78 (TUB) (Sep binder) (S). (3) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 27 Apr 45, sub: WD Redepl TB. 
With related papers. 320.2/1 (Redepl TUB)(S). (4) WD Redepl TB (S), 1 Jul 45. 320.2/88 (TUB)(S). 

M Estimates based on statistics compiled by Historical Section of Replacement and School Command, 
together with figures for Antiaircraft contained in Table No. 1. 

III. Efforts to Improve 
Replacement Procedures 

The unexpected severity of Infantry combat put grave strains on the replace- 
ment system. This severity affected it directly in upsetting estimates of the num- 
ber of replacements that would be required and their distribution by branch. 
It was the basic factor in the series of crises described in the preceding pages. After 
the crisis in the fall of 1943 estimates were readjusted and the capacity of infantry 
centers was increased, but their output fell far short of the demands imposed by 
the heavy fighting on the Siegfried Line and the German counteroffensive in the 

The unanticipated demands of ground combat also had an indirect effect on 
the replacement system. Before V-E Day all but two of the divisions in being had 
to be committed to combat; some of them were kept in line without rotation 
or relief for periods of unprecedented length. Extended fronts and continuous 
pressure strained to the limit the normal system of relief and rotation provided 
in the triangular organization of the infantry division. The burden of maintain- 
ing the strength and drive of those committed to action fell upon the replacement 
system. An adequate flow of individual replacements well enough trained to 
take their places at once in divisions that were engaged in combat became a 
crucial factor in the success of ground action. The replacement stream became in 
effect the reserve of the ground combat forces. The situation was recognized in 
advance when G-3 of the War Department observed at the beginning of 1944 
that, since the United States could deploy only a small number of divisions, "a 
sound and completely efficient replacement system in operation in all theaters" 
would be necessary to keep them at fighting strength. 1 

Reports from overseas left no doubt of the heavy impact of combat on the 
ground forces engaged, especially on infantry elements. As ground forces were 
increasingly committed in 1943, both in Italy and in the Pacific, it became clear 
that the infantry soldier, despite additional fire support on the ground and from 
the air and despite his equipment with the mechanized apparatus of modern 

1 (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (20 Jan 44) for CofS USA, 4 Feb 44, sub: Inf Strength of Inf Divs. 
(2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (19 Jan 44) for CofS USA, 22 Jan 44, sub: Gen MacArthur on Strength 
of Inf Units. Both in WD G-3 file 320.2, Vol I (S). 



warfare, was facing difficulties which put a heavy tax on the strength of the 
divisions available for employment. For example, American units in the Fifth 
Army in Italy had an actual strength of about 180,000, of whom 77,000 were in 
divisions. In January 1944 the American troops, after four months of fighting, 
had sustained 80,000 casualties, and it was already evident that the Italian cam- 
paign was still in its initial stages. Only 24 percent of the 80,000 were killed or 
wounded. The remainder were cases of sickness, accident, or exhaustion, many 
of them induced by the grueling conditions to which combat soldiers were 
subjected. 2 

Shortly after he became senior U.S. commander in the North African 
Theater, Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers analyzed the situation in a letter which he 
wrote to General McNair on 4 February 1944: 3 

It has been demonstrated here that divisions should not be left in the line longer than 
30 to 40 days in an active theater. If you do this, as has been done in this theater, everybody 
gets tired, then they get careless, and there are tremendous sick rates and casualty rates. 
Everybody should know this. The result is that you feed replacements into a machine in the 
line, and it is like throwing good money after bad. Your replacement system is bound to 
break down, as it has done in this theater. 

The replacement system had not broken down in a literal sense. The 80,000 
casualties mentioned above were almost all replaced: 41,000 men had been 
returned to units from hospitals and 35,000 new replacements had been sup- 
plied.* But the fact remained that if divisions could be relieved from front-line 
service after thirty or forty days, casualties would be fewer and fewer replace- 
ments would be needed. Less men would be lost through carelessness, fatigue, 
and overlong exposure to hardship and danger. 

About the same time Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur, from the other side of 
the world, also urged that measures be taken to increase the staying power of 
infantry. The infantry elements of his divisions were wearing out more rapidly 
than other divisional elements. Within infantry regiments rifle companies wore 
out more rapidly than headquarters, service, cannon, or even heavy weapons 
companies. Hence divisions became useless for offensive action or had to be with- 
drawn while many of their elements were still capable of further use. 5 

'Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, I Feb 44, sub: Inf Strength in the Inf Div. 000.7/4 (Inf 
Program) (S). 

* Personal ltr (S) of Gen Devers to Gen McNair, 4 Feb 44. McNair Correspondence (S). 

* Par 6, memo cited in n. 2. 

"Memo (S) of Gen McNair for CofS USA, 19 Jan 44, sub: Gen MacArthur on Strength of Inf Units. 
321/100 (Inf)(S). 



Additional evidence of the heavy cost of keeping troops continuously in the 
line was provided by a survey of divisions in the Mediterranean Theater con- 
ducted by The Surgeon General during the spring and summer of 1944. He con- 
cluded that a substantial proportion of the casualties sustained by divisions in 
that theater was attributable to psychiatric disorders induced by prolonged expo- 
sure to danger. Psychiatric casualty rates of 120 to 150 percent annually were not 
uncommon in infantry battalions, whereas rates above 3 percent rarely occurred 
in corresponding units of other branches of service. The front-line soldier, having 
exhausted the reservoir of pride and devotion to his unit, and having nothing to 
look forward to but death or wounds, cracked under the strain. It was found that 
"practically all men in rifle battalions who are not otherwise disabled ultimately 
become psychiatric casualties." The Surgeon General concluded that the point 
at which men wore out occurred, on the average, after 200-240 aggregate combat 
days. Those who broke down before this could usually be rehabilitated in the 
theater for further combat duty; those who broke down after this maximum 
period were useless for combat assignment without at least six months of rest. 6 

The Surgeon General's report emphasized that in addition to the physical 
hazards noted by General Devers there were also mental hazards. Whereas, to 
reduce these hazards, General Devers recommended rotation of units, The Sur- 
geon General suggested that there should also be rotation of individuals. 

Proposals for Unit Rotation 

The strain to which divisions in combat were being subjected led to agitation 
for some form of replacement by unit to supplement the system of individual 
replacements. Consideration was given to various means of creating a larger 
reserve of units that could be used to relieve hard-hit units on the line, especially 
in the fall of 1944 when it had become clear that a costly effort would be required 
to break the Siegfried Line and that the exhaustion of the existing strategic 
reserve was in sight. Activation of new divisions could not have given relief in 
time since approximately a year was required to train a division. Furthermore, as 
General Marshall pointed out in his Biennial Report, the existence of additional 
divisions, or even their presence in the European Theater, would not have 
provided relief without logistical facilities that did not exist at the time. 7 

* Memo (S) of Office Surg Gen USA SPMC 330.1 1 for CG AGF, 16 Sep 44, sub: Prevention of Manpower 
Loss from Psychiatric Disorders. AGF Stat Sec files, 330.11 (S). 

* Biennial Report of CofS USA to the Secy of War, 1 July 1943 to 30 June 1945, pp. 103-04. 



Other forms of replacement by units were considered. One was to increase 
the number of infantry units in the division. Another was to create additional 
battalions or regiments of infantry to be used for replacement and relief of the 
hard-hit elements of a division. In connection with the first of these proposals 
various possibilities were canvassed in the War Department as a means of meet- 
ing General MacArthur's recommendations of January 1944. They included an 
increase in the strength of rifle companies and an addition of a fourth rifle com- 
pany to the battalion, a fourth infantry battalion to the regiment, and a fourth 
regiment to the division. The conclusion was reached, General McNair con- 
curring, that these additions if made would result in the occupation of wider 
frontages, not in the provision of a reserve, so that the whole problem would 
remain as before or indeed be aggravated since the ratio of artillery and other 
support to infantry would be less. 8 

Army Ground Forces repeatedly urged the creation of separate battalions 
or regiments of infantry to replace divisional units withdrawn for rest, rehabili- 
tation, and the integration of replacements. In October 1944 it proposed that 
eight separate infantry regiments in the Zone of Interior, then being used to 
train loss replacements, be filled for immediate use in Europe. 9 In November it 
again urged that individual replacement be supplemented by unit rotation : 10 

Our whole system of the employment of divisions for long periods and continuous 
replenishment of these divisions by replacements while they are in action has created a 
vicious circle with respect to battle fatigue which no system of individual relief can overcome. 

There were various objections to the use of replacement units below the 
divisional level. In January 1944 G-3 of the War Department observed that use 
of nondivisional regiments to replace exhausted regiments of infantry divisions 
would conflict with "our national conceptions as to the sanctity of our divisional 
organization." 11 The overruling objection was that such units could not be 
created without increasing the authorized strength of the Army as fixed in 1943. 12 

■ (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (20 Jan 44) for CG AGF, 20 Jan 44, sub: In£ Strength in the Inf. 
Div. 000.7/4 (Inf Program) (S). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (20 Jan 44) for CofS USA, 4 Feb 44, 
sub as in (1). WD G-3 file 320.2, Vol 1 (S). (3) Memo (S) of Gen McNair for G-3 WD, 1 Feb 44, sub as 
in (1). 321/100 (Inf)(S). (4) WD Gen Council Min (S), 7 Feb 44. 

' AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 23 Oct 44, sub: Sep Inf Regts. 320.2/58 (TUB 44>(S). 

10 AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 13 Nov 44, sub: Prevention of Manpower Loss from Psychiatric 
Disorders. 330.11/101 (S). 

11 See references cited i rl n. i.l 

u (1) AGF memo (C) for G— 3 WD, 8 Mar 43, sub: Request for Additional Inf Bns in 1943 Tr Basis. 
320.2/10 (TB 43) (C). (2) WD memo (C) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (2-7-43) for CG AGF, 8 Apr 43, sub as in 
(1). 320.2/10 (TB 43)(C)- (3) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320 Tr Basis (23 Oct 44) to CG AGF, 7 Nov 44, 
sub: Sep Inf Regts. 320.2/58 (TUB 44) (S). 


One of the improvements of the replacement system sought in unit rotation 
and relief was the opportunity it would give the replacement to enter combat 
with comrades and an organization with which his psychological identification 
had been previously established. The importance of this sense of identification 
was strongly emphasized in the report of The Surgeon General. He found that 
the element chiefly effective in enabling the soldier in combat to overcome the 
motives for giving way was the strength of the bond between him and his com- 
rades. The newly assigned individual replacement, lacking any strong attach- 
ment to other members of his unit, had, according to his report, been found less 
effective in resisting the strain of combat than the man who entered combat with 
his unit. 13 

Additional evidence was brought to AGF headquarters by its observers in 
the theaters and by returning combat veterans that casualties were high among 
individual replacements who went directly into combat upon joining their units. 
This was attributed sometimes to lack of training, sometimes to lack of knowl- 
edge of how to protect themselves, and sometimes to bewilderment. On occasion, 
like many unseasoned troops, they would either freeze or would lose their heads 
the first time under fire. There was also contrary evidence — reports of new men 
acquitting themselves extremely well upon first going into action. Generally the 
steadiness and effectiveness of the replacement was in proportion to the amount 
of time he had spent with his unit before going into combat. During this time he 
could become acquainted with his fellows, rehearse his role in the team he was 
joining, and learn from the seasoned men additional tricks of survival. Above 
all, he would acquire a sense of belonging to and pride in his new outfit. 14 

The creation of new T/O units not having been approved, Army Ground 
Forces early in 1945 explored the possibility of a plan designed to give individual 
replacements this desirable sense of comradeship. In December 1944 General 
Eisenhower had issued an order that the term "reinforcement" be used in the 
European Theater instead of "replacement," to emphasize the fact that such 
troops were as vjtal to success in battle as a reserve regiment in a division. Gen. 
Joseph W. StilWell, who in February 1945 became Commanding General of the 
Army Ground Forces, taking his cue from this order, proposed that units in 
replacement training centers be designated as training sources for particular divi- 

"Se JnToH 

11 (1) AGF intelligence documents, Dissemination Division, Hq AGF, particularly Nos. 19562, 21590, 
21844, 22260 and 22339. ( J ) See also Col Elbridge Colby, "Replacements for a Field Army in Combat," in 
Infantry Journal, LX (March l947),-pp. 12-18. 



sions overseas. Within these units individuals were to be grouped in platoons, 
or at least in squads, in which they were to remain throughout their training 
and while being moved to the scene of combat. He even considered request- 
ing the return to the United States of officers from the respective divisions to 
escort the groups destined to reinforce them. His argument was that the men 
would thus be recognized from the outset as "reinforcements" in fact as well as 
in name. 15 Theater commanders or their representatives, when consulted about 
this plan, agreed that it would have a good efJect but were opposed to its intro- 
duction at the current stage of the war. The fundamental objection from the 
theaters was that it would make the process of replacement too rigid. It would 
force assignment to particular divisions without regard to the amount of rein- 
forcement that they might need at a given time. 16 In the face of this unfavorable 
reaction General Stilwell abandoned the plan. 17 Replacements continued to be 
trained and assigned as individuals, and they were formed into temporary 
companies during the process of shipment only for disciplinary effect and admin- 
istrative convenience. 

Proposals for More Rapid Individual Rotation 

Another form of relief for the severity of infantry combat considered was 
a more rapid rotation of individuals in front-line units. As early as February 1944 
it was suggested that the strain of combat might be relieved by granting periodic 
4-day passes to front-line fighters and by authorizing small overstrengths to make 
such a program possible without loss of fighting strength. 18 A second proposal, 
indicated above, was that of The Surgeon General who, after making his survey 
of 1944, recommended that front-line infantrymen, on completing 200 (or 240) 
aggregate days of combat, be relieved from combat duty for six months and given 

a (1) GO 131 (R) ETOUSA, 28 Dec 44, sub: Reinforcements. (2) Memo (S) in handwriting of Gen 
Stilwell to CofS AGF, undated, referring to ETO order cited in (1). (3) Personal ltr (S) of Gen Stilwell 
to Gen Eisenhower, 21 Feb 45. (4) Personal hrs (S) of Gen Stilwell to Gens MacArthur (CG USAFE), 
Richardson (CG USAFPOA), and Sultan (CG CBI), 24 Feb 45. All in 320.2/177 (O'seas Repls)(S). 

M (i) Personal ltr (S) of Gen Sultan to Gen Stilwell, 9 Mar 45. (2) Personal ltr (S) of Gen J. G. 
Christiansen (then in ETO) to Gen Stilwell, 11 Mar 45. (3) Personal ltr (S) of Gen Richardson to Gen 
Stilwell, 19 Mar 45. (1), (2), and (3) in 320.2/177 (O'seas Repls) (S). (4) Rad (S) Gen MacArthur to WD, 
4 Mar 45. Rad file CM-IN-4385. 

" (1) M/R (S) in handwriting of Gen Stilwell atchd to ltr to Gen Richardson cited in n. 16 (3). 
(2) AGF M/S (S), CofS to G-3, 30 Mar 45, sub: Ltr from Gen Richardson to Gen Stilwell, 19 Mar 45, re 
Repl System. 320.2/ 177 (O'seas Repls) (S). 

u WD Gen Council Min (S), 14 Feb 44. 



the option of serving for that period in the United States. 19 The Army Ground 
Forces, though recognizing the value of these proposals, did not support either 
of them ; it regarded them as palliatives, and in both instances renewed its recom- 
mendation that replacement units be created. 20 It was clear that unless a large 
reserve of replacements was amassed no general system of individual rotation for 
ground combat soldiers (such as that employed to relieve Air Corps pilots) could 
be established. The existing ceiling on Army strength made the amassing of a 
large reserve of replacements as difficult as the creation of new units. 

Remedial Measures Adopted 

Since it was not regarded as feasible to take measures involving an increase in 
the size of the Army, the best that could be done to obtain more replacements was 
to convert into replacements all the men available within the existing strength 
of the Army, converting into infantry as many men in overhead and in other 
arms and services as could be spared and could qualify for retraining. This was 
done. In consequence of General MacArthur's representations a measure was 
taken to enable divisions to refill their ranks more promptly by improving their 
means of dropping hospitalized personnel from their rolls. To cover the increased 
number of men thus charged to hospitals a large figure — eventually 415,000 — was 
set up in the Troop Basis. To meet this figure within the ceiling set on Army 
strength, Tables of Organization of all units except rifle companies were reduced 
by 50 percent of their basic privates. The net result was to make it somewhat easier 
to maintain the fighting effectiveness of rifle units, as long as qualified 
replacements were on hand in the theater. 21 

Working within the existing replacement system as the best that was feasible 
(given the situation in 1944-45), me War Department and the Army Ground 
Forces devoted their efforts to a series of measures designed to make it work 
effectively and particularly to combat the high rate of casualties that was one of 
its most severely criticized faults. The main effort was directed toward improving 
the readiness of the individual replacement for combat. As has been indicated 
above, much was accomplished by administrative corrections and improvements 
which resulted in getting the replacement to the point of assignment in a theater 

" (1) WD Gen Council Min (S), 14 Feb 44. (2) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 13 Nov 44, sub: 
Prevention of Manpower Loss from Psychiatric Disorders. 330.11/101 (S). 

* (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 (25 Apr 44) for CofS USA, 25 Apr 44, sub: Maintenance of 
Effective Str of Rifle Companies. WD G-3 file 320.2, Vol I (S). 



more promptly, in better physical condition, and with the combat skills he had 
acquired in training still unimpaired. The efficiency of the two AGF replacement 
depots established at Fort Meade, Md., and Fort Ord, Calif., in August 1943, 
contributed to this result ; but the effort to improve the individual replacement 
was vigorously pushed through the whole chain of his processing for assign- 
ment, both in the Zone of Interior and in the theaters. On the other hand, his 
training in replacement centers was extended to include unit training in the 
field, with the result that he was better prepared to fit quickly into the small 
battle teams, the squad and platoon, with which he would have his first experi- 
ence of combat. The Replacement and School Command believed that in 1944 
he was better prepared for battle than the ground soldier trained in a tactical 
unit. In addition, the Army Ground Forces throughout 1944 pressed an effort, 
which met with some success, to have more rugged men trained as replacements, 
as part of its general effort to obtain the allocation to the ground arms of men 
better constituted to meet the exacting requirements of ground combat. Assign- 
ment on the basis of the Physical Profile helped to some degree in this effort. The 
most substantial measure of relief was afforded by the transfer to the Infantry of 
large numbers of intelligent and able-bodied men from the Air and Service 
Forces in 1944 and 1945. 

The idea of supplementing the system of individual replacements with a 
reserve of unit replacements, though deemed impracticable while the United 
States was still fighting a two-front war, was not abandoned. As V-E Day 
approached, plans were formulated for creating such a reserve for use in the 
final assault on Japan. The Army Ground Forces in October 1944 had proposed 
that in long-term planning for operations in the Pacific one separate regiment be 
provided for every two infantry divisions scheduled for assignment to that 
theater. 22 In January 1945 it renewed the recommendation, this time proposing 
a separate regiment for each division and in addition a fixed tour of duty for 
infantrymen. Since it was understood that only a portion of the ground units then 
assigned to Europe would be used against Japan, Army Ground Forces believed 
that after V-E Day a sufficient reserve could be maintained to implement such a 
plan. One additional regiment for each infantry division deployed against Japan 
would require a total of 155,000 troops; if regiments were supplied in the ratio 
of one to every two divisions, only 79,000 would be needed. Adoption of a 120-day 
tour of combat duty for infantrymen would call for additional replacements 

" Reference cited in n. 9 above. 

2 34 


totaling 143,000 or 214,000, depending on whether the unit-replacement scheme 
was adopted as well. 23 

The War Department did not immediately adopt these recommendations, 
which were again put forward by General Stilwell on 13 March 1945. 24 In May 
1945 the War Department accepted the AGF recommendation by approving in 
principle a plan for unit rotation ; it proposed to add a fourth regiment to each 
infantry division scheduled for redeployment. 25 Army Ground Forces wished to 
implement the new plan by using the separate infantry regiments that had been 
employed until March for training replacements, and by adding twenty-nine 
separate regiments. The 1 June revision of the Redeployment Troop Basis actually 
made provision for thirty-four separate regiments to implement the unit-rotation 
plan. 26 But the War Department subsequently disapproved the use of separate 
infantry regiments for rotational purposes and directed instead that the addi- 
tional regiments required be taken from the divisions constituting the strategic 
reserve. The War Department justified this action on the ground that it would 
cause less disruption than the AGF plan to the supply phases of redeployment, 
and that regiments taken from reserve divisions would be better fitted for relief 
missions than units formed from replacement personnel in the United States. 27 
In June 1945 the Army Ground Forces noted with concern that the War Depart- 
ment planned to reduce the number of infantry divisions in the strategic reserve 
to three. 28 The abrupt ending of the Pacific war in August came before the War 
Department plan for unit rotation could be executed. 

Learned-Smith Committee Review of the Replacement System 

With the termination of the war against Germany a review of the replace- 
ment system was instituted by the Secretary of War. In June 1945 he directed 

"Memo (C) of Gen Lear for Gen Marshall, 6 Jan 45, sub: Improvement of Inf Fighting Power. Tabs 
in sep folder. 000.7/ 121 (Inf Program) (C) . 

"Memo (S) of Gen Stilwell for Gen Marshall, 13 Mar 45, sub: Combat Tour of Infantrymen. Tabs in 
sep folder. 000.7/12 (Inf Program) (S). 

* (1) WD D/F (S) WDGCT 322 (10 May 45), 23 May 45, sub: Inf Regts for Rotation. (2) AGF 
memo (S) for CofS USA, 10 May 45, sub as in (1). Both in 320.2/14 (Redeployment) (S). 

" WD Redeployment Troop Basis (S), 1 Jun 45, p. 96, line 17M60, "WD Program for Increased Infantry 
Rotation." 314.7 (AGF Hist). 

" Memo (S) of Gen J. E. Hull, OPD, for Gen Handy, DCofS USA, 30 May 45, sub: 4 th Inf Regt per 
Div. 322/7 (Divs)(S). 

* AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS AGF, 18 Jun 45, sub: 4th Inf Regt Proposed for Rotation in Inf Divs. 
320.2/4 (RedeplTUB)(S). 



Dr. E. P. Learned and Dr. Dan T. Smith, civilian advisors to the Commanding 
General, Army Air Forces, to survey the organization of the War Department 
and its subordinate commands with respect to the provision of replacements and 
to recommend improvements that would "make the War Department Personnel 
Replacement System fully effective in the war against Japan." 29 

In its report to the Learned-Smith Committee the Army Ground Forces 
reviewed its experience since 1942 and summarized its views on the weaknesses 
of the system during that period under four headings: (1) deficiency in the 
quality and often in the supply of men available for replacement training; (2) 
unduly low levels of RTC capacity, with resultant stripping of units and transfers 
among branches and commands; (3) fluctuations in policies affecting the pro- 
gram of training and the rate of production, which were reflected in temporary 
or permanent losses of output and which had made effective long-range planning 
impossible; (4) the indefiniteness or lack of coordination of policies with respect 
to replacements. 30 

With reference to the quality and supply of replacements, the Army Ground 
Forces recommended that, through Selective Service, the procurement of enlisted 
men be made uniform throughout the armed forces on equal terms ; that physical 
standards for induction be relaxed only in critical cases; and that induction 
schedules be maintained at predetermined levels. To ensure an adequate and 
regular output of replacements, it proposed that RTC capacity be set at a high 
level; that the length of the training cycle be determined once and for all; that 
training and shipping rates be stabilized over longer periods of time; and that 
depot capacity and the availability of shipping be brought into conformity with 
the flow of replacements. To permit definite planning for the Pacific war, it 
recommended that policy be fixed at an early date on such matters as the training 
of 19-year-olds, the rotation of limited service and overage cadremen used in 
training centers, and the critical score for discharge. 

In reporting its findings, the Learned-Smith Committee, in conformity with 
its mandate, directed attention to organizational changes that might correct the 
faults which had developed in the replacement system. The committee concluded 
that there had been insufficient long-range planning of personnel requirements 
and resources ; that no single War Department agency had had adequate responsi- 

" WD memo (R) WDCSA 230 (9 Jun 45) for Dr. E. P. Learned, Dr. Dan T. Smith, et d, 9 Jun 45, sub: 
Review of WD Pers Repl System. 320.2/520 (C). 

"AGF study (by Col J. H. Banville)(S), 13 Jun 45, sub: The Repl System — EM. 327.3/114 (SS)(S). 
This study was presented to Dr. Learned and Dr. Smith at a conference with AGF staff officers, 13 June 1945. 



bility or authority to ensure an integrated, Army-wide personnel system; that 
the major commands, particularly the Ground and Service Forces, and also the 
theaters, had not participated extensively enough in replacement planning; and 
that in the formulation of strategic plans attention had been given too exclusively 
to unit requirements, as against replacement requirements, with the result that 
the Army had been overcommitted. It found that replacements for ground units 
had been too easily diverted to other uses. Its principal recommendations were 
as follows: (1) G-i of the War Department should be designated as the sole War 
Department agency responsible for personnel planning, its responsibility being 
concentrated in a personnel resources and requirements branch. (2) G-i should 
maintain a long-range master plan embracing all aspects of personnel procure- 
ment and distribution. Planning for operations by OPD, G-3, and the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff should take place within the limitations imposed by this plan. (3) 
Detailed planning of replacement production should be decentralized by delega- 
tion to the three major commands, which should estimate requirements and 
resources of personnel on a world-wide basis. This would require that they main- 
tain a continuous liaison not only with G-i of the War Department but also with 
the theaters. Neither the Army Ground Forces nor the Army Service Forces had 
had such direct liaison with theaters during the war. The committee recom- 
mended that all major changes in personnel policy should be discussed and 
coordinated with the three commands and the theaters before being put into 
effect. (4) To ensure greater flexibility in the replacement system the committee 
recommended that replacements be produced against maximum requirements, 
and that the Troop Basis limits be maintained by increasing the discharge rate 
when losses fell below those estimated in planning. 31 

Army Ground Forces agreed with these recommendations except with 
regard to two points. It favored continuing the existing system of requisitions for 
replacements based on requirements tables rather than the establishment, at the 
current stage of the war, of an elaborate statistical control to balance requirements 
and resources. It also doubted whether the Ground and Service Forces could 
effectively create, during the remainder of the war, systems of personnel planning 
extending into the theaters as complete as that which Air Forces had already 
established. It regarded as the most important recommendation of the committee 
that made to secure flexibility, namely, the production of replacements against 
maximum requirements rather than against continually revised estimates of 

81 Memo (C) of Dr. E. P. Learned and Dr. Dan T. Smith for DCofS USA, 20 Jun 45. sub: Review of 
WD Pers Repl System. Detailed study attached. 320.2/520 (C). 



minimum needs. Army Ground Forces expressed the opinion that if this were 
done, "many of the replacement troubles will disappear." 32 

Recapitulation: the AGF Replacement System in World War II 

The procurement and training of replacements to maintain the ground 
combat forces at effective strength had required tremendous effort and, despite 
shortcomings, ended with an impressive achievement. By the close of the war 
approximately 2,670,000 enlisted men had been trained in the replacement train- 
ing agencies of the ground arms. {See Table No. 2. ) This means that the replace- 

ment training agencies of the Army Ground Forces had trained a million more 
enlisted men than were contained in the combat elements of units in the ground 
arms active on V-E Day, when the Army was at the peak of its strength. 33 The 
system of replacements used in World War II, thanks to resourceful exertions by 
all concerned, sufficed to maintain the ground attacks on Germany and Japan at 
the strength required to obtain unconditional surrender. 

The system as contemplated in premobilization plans had had to be abridged 
at an early date, and the operation of the modified system had been attended by 
serious faults which were generally acknowledged. Early in the period of mobili- 
zation the production of replacements began to lag behind requirements. When 
casualties began to mount, the output of replacement training centers repeatedly 
fell short of the number of replacements needed to reinforce even the relatively 
limited number of ground units in combat. It became necessary to resort to the 
raiding of divisions in training to make up shortages, a practice so ruinous in 
World War I. Units earmarked for combat were disrupted even when in 
advanced stages of training, and the troops withdrawn were replaced with men 
only partially trained. As a consequence the training goal for World War II of 
having all divisions prepared to enter combat as thoroughly trained and con- 
solidated battle teams, emerging as such from an orderly progression through 
carefully planned stages of gaining, was attained only in part. But the worst 
evils resulting from replacement shortages in World War I were avoided. The 
regular training which replacements received was far better in every respect than 
in World War x, and, with exceptions imposed by the crises and improvisations of 
1944, became progressively better as the war advanced. The resort to divisions 
to fill shortages did not require their conversion into replacement training units 

M AGF memo (C) for DCofS USA, 29 Jun 45, sub' as in n. 31. 320.2/520 (C). 

** The enlisted strength of such elements was approximately 1,650,000 on 30 April 1945. Strength Reports 
of the Army (S), Vol II, 30 Apr 45. 


except in a few cases and then only for short periods. The detrimental effect of 
mass withdrawals of infantrymen from divisions in 1944 was alleviated by the 
physical and mental quality of most of the men who were substituted. Whatever 
damage the training of divisions suffered, all of those activated in the United 
States were eventually made ready for combat and shipped overseas. There was 
no repetition of the bitter experience of having to break up divisions already 
overseas to obtain individual replacements. The great stream of replacements 
found to be necessary had been procured from sources within the strength of the 
Army as fixed in 1943, without dismantling any combat units which were neces- 
sary for the execution of strategic plans. The divisions committed were 
maintained at virtually full strength. All this was a notable achievement. 

The principal difficulties in attaining it developed out of failure to calculate 
correctly the required number of replacements in time to provide them by the 
established process of training. A basic factor in this failure was the unanticipated 
severity of combat for ground forces, particularly for infantry units. The resulting 
crises in the provision of replacements were aggravated by other factors: tem- 
porary diversions of replacement training facilities to other purposes; the inevi- 
table lag in the production of center-trained replacements to meet the demands 
of unforeseen crises ; and the desire to protect very young men, who constituted 
the mass of those immediately available for replacement training in 1944, from 
the rigors and hazards of replacement duty in combat. 

The Army Ground Forces by 1944 found that the provision of replacements 
had become its principal concern. In 1942 and 1943 General McNair and his 
staff had given their main attention to unit training. With a comprehensive 
establishment for training replacements already in operation, General McNair 
evidently wished to assume only a limited responsibility for a replacement 
system over which the War Department had retained control of policy follow- 
ing the March 1942 reorganization. Because of his intentness on the thorough 
training of large units, and his belief that individual training within units in the 
field was more effective than training in centers, he deplored and resisted the 
resort to units to obtain replacements. Step by step Army Ground Forces became 
more deeply involved in replacement problems. In March 1943, with the delega- 
tion to it of authority over assignments, its responsibility for the administration 
of the replacement system was extended. It became further involved during 1943 
as the result of criticisms of replacement training in the ground arms, the 
extension of its jurisdiction over replacement depots, and the disruptive pressure 
on its unit-training program exerted by the rising demand for loss replacements. 


In the crucial matter of anticipating the number of loss replacements that 
would be needed, Army Ground Forces did not have at its disposal the world- 
wide data necessary for arriving at correct estimates. Even though its estimates 
were higher than those of the War Department they fell short of the mark. The 
reasons why the estimates of the War Department were initially too conservative 
were not known at Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, at the time. The 
Biennial Report of General Marshall at the end of the war indicates that War 
Department estimates were affected by excessive optimism regarding the factors 
that were expected to alleviate the severity of ground combat. To narrow the 
resulting gap between demand and supply, the Army Ground Forces urged 
expansion of training center capacities and also the creation of a larger reserve 
of ground combat units. Meanwhile it intensified the efforts initiated in 1943 to 
increase the battle-readiness of the graduates of its replacement centers. Training 
was greatly improved, though the need of haste and resort to improvisations 
impaired the effort. 

The War Department considered the creation of more combat units for 
replacement purposes to be impracticable within existing limits of time and 
strength. Adhering to the system of individual replacements, it procured the 
necessary flow by hasty conversions from overhead and particularly from other 
arms and branches, including those of the Air and Service Forces. When victory 
over Germany was achieved, it authorized a larger reserve of ground combat 
units, together with a liberal allocation of capacity to the AGF replacement 
training centers. In June 1945 the Army Ground Forces, reviewing its difficult 
experience with replacements before V-E Day, concluded that these changes, if 
combined with greater concentration of authority over personnel policies and 
firmer adherence to policies once established, would enable the replacement 
system used during the war against Germany to meet the requirements of the 
intended assault on Japan. The end of the Pacific war came too quickly to permit 
any conclusive judgment on the effectiveness of the projected improvements. 

Service Schools of the 
Army Ground Forces 


William R. Keast 




Mission 246 

Conditions Influencing School Programs 251 

Decentralization of Technical Training 252 

The Quota System 254 

Determination of School Capacities 256 

The Parachute School 258 


The Schools in 1940-41 260 

Expansion, 1942 263 

Formulation of a Policy for Officer Training, 194} 264 

Retrenchment and Readjustment, 1944-4; 271 


Conduct of Training 288 

Testing 293 

Faculty Organization 296 

Scheduling of Instruction 299 

Selection and Training df Instructors 301 


No. P«P 

1. Total Output of AGF Service Schools, by Branch, 1940-45 308 

2. Courses and Output at the Antiaircraft Artillery School, 1942-45 .... 309 

3. Courses and Output at the Armored School, 1940-45 311 

4. Courses and Output at the Cavalry School, 1940-45 313 

5. Courses and Output at the Coast Artillery School, 1940-45 314 

6. Courses and Output at the Field Artillery School, 1940-45 315 

7. Courses and Output at the Infantry School, 1940-45 317 

8. Courses and Output at the Tank Destroyer School, 1942-45 318 

9. Courses and Output at the Parachute School, 1941-45 319 

I. The Role of Service Schools 
in AGF Training 

The service schools of the Army Ground Forces were agencies for training 
individuals — officers, officer candidates, and enlisted specialists. Between July 1940 
and August 1945 they graduated from their various courses nearly 570,000 officers 
and enlisted men to fill positions ranging from infantry battalion commander to 
antiaircraft fire control electrician. Of the eight schools operated under the 
control of the Army Ground Forces, four, the Cavalry School, the Coast Artillery 
School, the Field Artillery School, and the Infantry School, had been in existence 
for many years as the schools of the statutory ground arms and were controlled 
until March 1942 by the chiefs of those arms. The remaining schools were rela- 
tively new, having been established for study and training in hew techniques of 
warfare. These were the Armored, the Antiaircraft Artillery, the Tank Destroyer, 
and the Parachute Schools. 

Although subject to control by Army Ground Forces, the school system 
was administered through the agencies of subordinate commands. When the 
Army Ground Forces was established on 9 March 1942, the Replacement and 
School Command was organized as its agency for supervising the operation of 
the schools and replacement training centers of the traditional arms. In practice, 
the Replacement and School Command controlled the conduct of training in the 
schools of these arms, while Army Ground Forces retained direct control of the 
methods and techniques employed in training and of the preparation of training 
literature (field manuals and training circulars) embodying new principles of 
branch doctrine and special branch techniques. The role of the Replacement and 
School Command was, therefore, primarily administrative. In the same manner, 
the schools in the newer arms were administered by subordinate commands. 
Army Ground Forces controlled their training policies and techniques, but 
initially, while they were in an early period of development, gave more latitude 
to the recommendations of these commands regarding programs and methods 
of instruction. As the newer arms acquired stability in doctrine and techniques, 
their schools were transferred to the control of the Replacement and School 
Command — the Tank Destroyer School in July 1942, the Armored School in 
February 1944, the Parachute School in March 1944, and, after the war had ended, 
the Antiaircraft School in October 1945. 



The Armored School — originally the Armored Force School, later the 
Armored Command School — was established in October 1940. The Antiaircraft 
Artillery School developed from the Coast Artillery School, which was respon- 
sible until March 1942 for instruction in both seacoast and antiaircraft defense. 
On 9 March 1942 it passed to the control of the Antiaircraft Artillery Command, 
which was established to handle the task of activating and training the many anti- 
aircraft units required by the overwhelming air superiority of the Axis at that 
stage of the war. The establishment of the Tank Destroyer School was directed in 
November 1941, but its first classes did not begin until May 1942. The Parachute 
School superseded the Parachute Section of the Infantry School in May 1942. 


The basic principle of the training program of the Army Ground Forces was 
that every unit should be trained as a unit by its own commander. Such a system 
had not been entirely possible in World War I, when the scarcity of officers 
qualified to conduct training had forced the extensive use of vast training centers 
through which units were rotated to receive instruction from a small corps of 
experts. AGF training policy, with decentralized responsibility for training, 
required in each unit a nucleus of officers and enlisted men capable of executing 
the training programs. The function of the schools in the Army Ground Forces 
was to contribute to this essential component of trained leaders. Lt. Gen. Lesley J. 
McNair, Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces, defined the role of 
the schools in a tribute to the influence of the Field Artillery School : x 

The practicability of the system employed in this emergency, with the attendant 
outstanding success, is due, in my judgment, almost wholly to a single factor — the Field 
Artillery School. In the World War, we had too few trained officers to permit the system 
now being used. Since the World War, the Field Artillery School has been pouring forth 
class after class of officers and enlisted men who not only know their own duties, but who 
have demonstrated outstandingly that they are able to impart their knowledge to the huge 
war army now in being, and proving itself so convincingly on the battlefield. 

Although General McNair 's remarks were confined to the Field Artillery School, 
the function he described was characteristic of all AGF service schools. 

Indispensable as he recognized schools to be, General McNair found it 
necessary to oppose a strong tendency to multiply school courses. It was not 
unnatural in a nation addicted to mass education that the remedy for any military 
deficiency should have been sought in more and bigger schools. But it was impos- 

1 AGF ltr to Comdt FA Sch, 3 Jun 43, sub: Battle Performance of the FA. 330.13/ 45. 



sible, in the view of Army Ground Forces, to create an efficient combat unit by 
assembling a collection of individuals, however highly trained. Individual profi- 
ciency was a prerequisite, but combat efficiency depended more directly on habits 
of teamwork, more difficult and more time-consuming to develop. Smooth 
cooperation among diverse elements, adaptation of technique and knowledge to 
particular situations, discipline, esprit de corps, and mutual respect and con- 
fidence between leader and men — these were the products of continuous close 
association under the widest variety of conditions. They could not be developed 
in the abstract at a school and then transferred to any group in which a man 
might find himself; they flourished in and were limited to particular groups. 
Schools, however closely the work they required might parallel that of the 
individual in combat, were fundamentally unrealistic so far as unit instruction 
was concerned. 

Long established, the schools had traditions, power, and prestige. They were 
in a strong position in relation to new ground force units. Their recurrent efforts 
to enlarge the scope of their operations were both natural and laudable, convinced 
as they were that units would reap direct benefits from more inclusive school 
training. But extending the domain of the schools meant depriving units of more 
men for longer periods of time. Such deprivation handicapped unit training 
directly by forcing the team to practice without all its regular players, and indi- 
rectly by denying the absent players the superior form of training that regular 
work with the team provided. 

General McNair protested frequently against excessive schooling. In Decem- 
ber 1941, replying to complaints of a brigade commander about the draining of 
officers and men from units into schools, he said : 2 

This tendency to start a flock of schools in all echelons is an old one, and caused 
difficulty in France during the World War. . . . After all, the primary objective of this 
period is small unit training. Schools are simply a means to that end, and not the end 
itself. While instruction of officers and noncommissioned officers certainly is necessary, it 
must be kept within bounds. 

"Continuous schooling," General McNair stated in February 1943, "destroys 
initiative and the necessity for self-help." 3 In February 1944 he replied as follows 
to a criticism that the Ground Forces had neglected the training of higher 
commanders in artillery technique: 4 

'Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Brig Gen C. P. George, 6 Dec 41. McNair Correspondence. 
"AGF 3d ind, 17 Feb 43, on 74th FA Brig ltr to Third Army, 22 Jan 43, sub: Tng of Newly 
Commissioned Officers. 322/35 (74th FA Brig). 

* Par 16, memo (S) of Gen McNair for ASW, 8 Feb 44. McNair Correspondence (S). 


There has been a marked tendency to multiply the number of courses at our service 
schools until it became a question whether schools or troop training was the object of our 
home activities. . . . The operations overseas have shown no lack of knowledge on the part 
of high commanders and their staffs in the employment of masses of artillery. In fact, this 
subject has been studied in our services for the past twenty-five years. The effort by all 
means should be to curtail and simplify school courses rather than expand and complicate 
them by items which can best be characterized as frills. It is a fallacy to assume that when 
commanders, staffs and troops have witnessed a demonstration they are automatically 
qualified to execute the features demonstrated. Proficiency comes from execution by the 
troops themselves. 

The mission of the schools as defined by General McNair had two aspects. 
The schools furnished trained leaders and specialists to units before activation, 
during training, and in combat. And through their graduates — always a minority 
in units — the schools standardized procedures common to all units of each arm 
and disseminated new and improved techniques, tactics, and training methods. 
Thereby they indirectly raised the proficiency of units and facilitated cooperation 
among units trained at different times and in different places. 

No units were trained at schools — neither regular tactical units nor teams 
of subunit size, such as gun crews or radar teams. 5 The AGF policy was fore- 
shadowed on this issue by General McNair in the latter days of General Head- 
quarters, the predecessor of Army Ground Forces. The War Plans Division of 
the War Department had transmitted to GHQ a draft memorandum proposing 
the establishment of a school for combined arms through which units of various 
arms would be passed for joint training. General McNair, objecting to the time 
and manpower such an enterprise would require, based his chief complaint on 
principle: 6 

In principle, schools are for the training of individuals. . . . For unit training, the 
instructor of a unit is its commander. Each division and army corps, in turn, with proper 
leadership, can and should constitute its own combined arms training school. 

Individuals were the proper objects of school training, but not all individuals. 
Among enlisted men, no basic soldiers were trained. No courses were conducted 
for riflemen, machine gunners, truck drivers, ammunition bearers, cavalry 
troopers, or tank crewmen. Such men were trained in units or in replacement 

"This statement requires two minor qualifications. Beginning in 1943 the schools trained teams to 
operate the odograph and radio-controlled airplane target. In the latter months of 1944 the schools began 
to conduct courses for instructor teams — small groups, consisting usually of an officer and several enlisted 
men, selected to introduce new or modified items of equipment to units in the theaters. After arrival in the 
theaters some of these teams were absorbed as such into units. 

' GHQ memo for ASW, 12 Feb 42, sub: Sch of Combined Arms. GHQ Records, 352.01/75. 



centers; every enlisted student at an AGF school was already a basically trained 
soldier. No noncommissioned officers of the "leadership" type — that is, rifle 
platoon sergeants, first sergeants, or tank commanders — were school-trained. 
Leadership, their principal qualification, was believed to be developed only 
through the exercise of responsibility and command within units. In permitting 
the Tank Destroyer School to train enlisted cadremen for new units, Army 
Ground Forces specifically excepted noncommissioned officers; these men, 
Army Ground Forces held, "are leaders primarily, whether or not they are 
technicians ; no small part of their qualifications are gained by their experience 
with troops." 7 In 1943 Army Ground Forces frowned on an Infantry School 
proposal to train rejected officer candidates as platoon sergeants. The reply of 
AGF headquarters declared: "No change in the present policy under which 
service schools for enlisted men are confined to specialists schools is contem- 
plated. General education of and development of leadership in enlisted men 
remains the responsibility of officers with troop units." 8 In May 1944, after the 
War Department had expressed interest in a school course for noncommissioned 
officers, modelled on officer candidate training, Army Ground Forces reiterated 
its confidence in the training of noncommissioned officers by their own 
commanders. 9 

Among enlisted men, only specialists were trained at schools. But not all 
specialists were so trained. The numbers and types of specialist courses varied 
widely among schools. No single explanation can account for this variety, for no 
clear policy on the point was enunciated by Army Ground Forces. In general the 
attempt was made to allow the needs and desires of tactical units for school- 
trained personnel to determine the nature of courses. 

For the training of officers the policy of the Army Ground Forces made some- 
what broader provisions. Almost all junior officers were given school training, 
as were also a proportion of company, battalion, and regimental commanders 
and staff officers, and a proportion of officer specialists. Junior officers were 
trained in officer candidate and basic courses, which were substantially the same. 
Commanders and staff officers were trained in the advanced courses. Training 
was also given to such specialists as communications and motor officers, battery 

'AGF 1st ind, 13 Mar 43, on R&SC ltr, sub: Tng of Cadres at TO RTC and Sch. AGF G-3 Schs Br files, 
RTC binder 1 /22. 

"AGF 3d ind, 19 Mar 43, on R&SC ltr to Comdt Inf Sch, 9 Feb 43, sub: Course for Plat Sgts. 352/740 
(Inf Sch). 

* AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 1 2 May 44, sub: Establishment of AGF NCO Schs. 352/1 1 3 (S). 



executives, and radar, tank maintenance, and cannon officers. The same restric- 
tions were applied to the training of officers in schools as to the training of non- 
commissioned officers. Leadership was not expected as an outcome of school 
instruction. The aim of officer training was to give as much technical and tactical 
knowledge and skill as possible in a brief course and to depend on the exercise of 
command in a unit to produce or extend the attributes of leadership. Officers' 
courses, however "advanced," were always preliminary to further training in 
the unit. 

The missions — and consequently, the operations — of the Antiaircraft Artil- 
lery and Tank Destroyer Schools (and to a more limited extent of the Armored 
School) differed appreciably from those of the older service schools. The differ- 
ence arose from the problems of expansion. When new units of the older arms 
were to be formed, trained cadres of officers and enlisted men were drawn from 
existing units. Initially no tank destroyer and only a few antiaircraft units were 
available as a backlog; activations had to start from scratch. It fell to the Anti- 
aircraft Artillery and Tank Destroyer Schools to train and supply officers and 
enlisted men for both command and technical positions in new units. 10 Although 
some armored divisions existed when rapid expansion began in 1942, they were 
not numerous enough to furnish all the cadres necessary for new armored units 
without severe depletion that would have hampered training. The Armored 
School also took on something of the character of an activation agency. 

In view of this special addition to their missions the Antiaircraft and Tank 
Destroyer Schools, during the period of expansion, offered courses having no 
counterpart in the older schools. The Tank Destroyer School operated an Enlisted 
Weapons Course designed to train personnel for new units in tank destroyer 
armament, an Enlisted Pioneer Course on demolitions, engineering, camouflage, 
etc., and an Officers Pioneer Course. The Antiaircraft School conducted an 
Officers Cadre Course — in effect a basic course slanted particularly at the prob- 
lems of unit formation and training — from which 7,530 officers had been grad- 
uated by January 1944, when the course was discontinued. Both schools con- 
ducted special orientation and refresher courses to indoctrinate officers lacking 
unit experience. Not until 1944, when activations had ceased and AGF school 
policy had been more definitely formulated, were the newer schools brought 
into conformity with the general pattern, confining their training to subjects 
that could not be effectively taught in units. 

10 (i) AGF M/S (S), G-3 to CofS, u Nov 43, sub: Capacity of Courses of Instruction for AAA Pers. 
352/72 (S). (2) AGF 1st ind, — Mar 43, on R&SC ltr, — Mar 43, sub: Tng of Cadres at TD RTC and Sch. 
AGF G-3 Schs Br files, RTC binder 1 /22. 


2 5 I 

Conditions Influencing School Programs 

Reference has been made above to the lack of uniformity among schools in 
the numbers and types of courses offered. The tables at the end of this study show 
the relative stability of courses at the Infantry and Cavalry Schools and the fluctu- 
ations of those at the Antiaircraft, Armored, Coast Artillery, Field Artillery, and 
Tank Destroyer Schools. They indicate also the comparatively small number of 
the courses given at the first two schools, and the much greater extensiveness of 
the offerings of the other five. 

For the general training of officers the schools maintained substantially 
equivalent programs. The only important variations appeared in the range of 
specialist instruction. Since specialist training at the schools was normally a direct 
reflection of the needs of tactical units, the explanation of the variations lies in 
differences among the arms served by the schools. Differences were notable in 
three respects: proportion of technical positions, rate of technological develop- 
ment, and relative maturity. The Infantry and Cavalry Schools served old and 
relatively nontechnical arms ; the Field and Coast Artillery Schools operated for 
old arms with large and fluctuating technical requirements; the Antiaircraft, 
Armored, and Tank Destroyer Schools served new establishments whose needs 
for technicians were great and ever changing. 

The proportion of technical positions in units of an arm influenced its school 
program directly. Branches using the largest and most complex weapons, vehicles, 
and communications equipment — primarily the artillery branches — had the 
highest ratio of specialists per unit and the greatest requirement for school 

The rate of technological development within the arm — that is, the rate at 
which new items of equipment, or significant modifications of old, were intro- 
duced — influenced its school program. The rate of technological development 
depended in part on the technical level of the arm : the more the equipment, the 
greater the modifications which were possible ; the more complex the technical 
problems of the arm, the greater the pressure for the development of machines 
adequate to meet them. The rate of obsolescence and invention in the more 
technical arms was spectacular. With science and industry mobilized on behalf 
of the military machine, new developments appeared in astounding numbers 
and were rapidly available for use in the field. The schools, mediating between 
the sources of supply and the users, had to respond quickly to constantly changing 
demands for training. In January 1945 antiaircraft units were using only one 



item of the major equipment — weapons, vehicles, communication devices — with 
which they had entered the war; every item then standard except the .50-caliber 
machine gun was a wartime development. 11 It is not surprising, therefore, that 
the Antiaircraft School conducted such an abundance of courses or that such 
large numbers of men were graduated from them. 

The age of the arms also exerted an influence that was reflected in their 
school programs. Aside from technical demands the traditional arms tended to 
be more conservative in matters of doctrine, organization, and equipment than 
the newer arms. Since the latter — Armored, Antiaircraft, and Tank Destroyer — 
had had no previous combat experience and very limited peacetime experience, 
they had to proceed gropingly at first and later to adjust and refine original 
decisions in the light of combat lessons. A greater degree of change was inherent 
in their situation than in that of the traditional arms, and it was reflected in the 
operations of their schools. A further consequence of the youth of these three 
branches was, as already noted, the lack of units from which cadres for activation 
could be drawn ; the schools, acting in place of units in supplying cadremen, had 
to extend their operations even further. 

Decentralization of Technical Training 

A distinctive feature of AGF school policy designed to relate school training 
more directly to the needs of units was the duplication of technical courses. The 
school of each arm, for example, conducted motor and communications courses 
for officers and enlisted men, and an enlisted radio repairman's course; artillery 
mechanics were trained at four schools and odograph teams at five. To some 
extent, of course, this duplication was made necessary by differences of equip- 
ment among the arms. But extensive similarities in materiel, maintenance pro- 
cedures, and techniques might have justified centralized technical courses for all 
arms, at considerable saving of overhead. The decentralized procedure followed 
in Army Ground Forces arose from the desire to give technical training a tactical 
slant. Radio operators and vehicle mechanics, to be of maximum value to their 
organizations, needed to practice their technique under tactical conditions similar 
to those they would encounter in the field. It was believed that this need could be 
met only by a course in the school of the arm, where contact could be retained 
with related activities peculiar to the arm. It was desired, moreover, to localize 

11 Statement of Col H. S. Johnson, AGF G-3 AA Br, to AGF Hist Off, 18 Feb 45. 



responsibility for maintenance and materiel in the using organizations. This 
would be accomplished most easily by developing within the arm a body of 
doctrine and a tradition of competence through instruction in the branch school. 

No serious inroads were made upon the policy of decentralized technical 
instruction until 1944, when it was modified owing to the stringency of the 
personnel situation. A proposal to centralize all training in mechanized recon- 
naissance at the Cavalry School, instead of conducting separate courses there and 
at the Armored and Tank Destroyer Schools, had been considered early in 1942, 
but nothing came of the idea because Army Ground Forces was not convinced 
that improvement of training or economy of personnel would result. 12 In May 
1944 the Armored School recommended that tank mechanics for all organiza- 
tions using tracked vehicles — including armored, cavalry, field artillery, and 
tank destroyer units — be trained at the Armored School. The Armored School 
espoused the principle that "the type of vehicle issued to the organization 
[should be] the determining factor in deciding what service school will give this 
type of training." Tracked vehicles were preponderant in armored organizations, 
but training of tank mechanics was not centralized at the Armored School. The 
older principle that each arm should be responsible for its own maintenance and 
maintenance instruction continued to govern policy. 13 

Within the limits imposed by this principle, some standardization of courses 
took place. If it was true that each arm had distinctive material to teach motor 
mechanics and radio operators, it was also true that large areas of purely technical 
similarity in the work of such men demanded fairly uniform treatment. In June 
1944, AGF inspectors noted striking variations in the content, scope, and 
emphasis of motor courses at the service schools — variations that could not be 
justified on grounds of varying branch tactical employment. 14 The Replacement 
and School Command thereupon produced outlines for standardized officers' and 
enlisted men's motor courses. The standard courses went into effect in November 
1944. The purpose of each course was prescribed, as was also the general allotment 
of time to subjects: 

u (1) R&SC ltr 352 Cav Sch to CG AGF, 23 Apr 42, sub: Centralization of All Mecz Ren Tng for the 

AGF at the Cav Sch, Ft Riley, Kan. With related papers. 352/53 (Cav Sch). 

u (1) Armd Sch ltr 353 GNRUB to CG AGF, 22 May 44, sub: Tng of Tank Mechanics in Arty and 
Cav Units. With related papers. 352.11/24 (Armd Comd Sch). 

14 AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 15 Jun 44, sub: Inspection of Motor Courses at Serv Schs, R&SC, 22 May 44 to 
4 Jua 44. 353-° 2 /5°°. 




Officer Course 

Enlisted Course 















The reserved time was to be used for specific branch subjects. Each school con- 
tinued to give its maintenance and operations training a tactical orientation 
appropriate to the requirements of the arm. But all schools now distributed time 
and emphasis on a sounder basis. 15 

The determination of Army Ground Forces to subordinate school operations 
to the needs of troop units appeared also in the provisions for school attendance. 
It was a cardinal principle of AGF school policy that assignment of men to school 
courses should be discretionary with the unit commander and that no com- 
mander should be required to fill quotas if he did not wish to. It had not always 
been so. Before 9 March 1942 the chiefs of branches, who were then responsible 
for the conduct of schools, followed established peacetime practices in keeping 
schools filled. In peacetime each branch chief had been responsible for the educa- 
tion of officers and key enlisted men at the branch school. Each year the chief had 
detailed, through the chief of staff, a quota of men to attend the service school ; 
the detail was compulsory, and unit commanders were forced to get along with- 
out assigned personnel. This system was not objectionable in peacetime: educa- 
tion at schools was a paramount concern; units were small and training was not 
urgent. The system was disastrous when applied to units recently mobilized or 
expanded, chronically short of officers and specialists, and training intensively 
for combat. Operating independently of each other and having no responsibility 
for the orderly progress of unit training, the branch chiefs expanded their school 
capacities rapidly and detailed officers and enlisted men from units to attend 
a bewildering variety of courses. Harassed unit commanders often found them- 

1! (1) R&SC Itr 353.02 GNRST to Comdts Serv Schs, 23 Aug 44, sub: Revision and Standardization of 
Motor Course. R&SC files, 352.11 (Gen). (2) R&SC ltr 353.02 GNRST to Comdts Serv Schs, 6 Nov 44, sub: 
Standardized Motor Course. R&SC files, 352.11 (Gen). 

The Quota System 



selves required to send so many key men away to school that training could 
proceed only with the greatest difficulty. The commander of the 9th Division, 
for example, wrote to General McNair early in 1942 that 103 officers 
— roughly one-eighth of those authorized for the division — were absent attend- 
ing seventeen school courses. 16 It was an open question whether schools existed 
to serve units or units existed to supply schools with students. 

General McNair made it an early item of business in the Army Ground 
Forces to rectify this condition. As far as possible, officers were to go to school 
before joining units. 17 The practice of establishing quotas and of detailing officers 
to schools was stopped. Army Ground Forces announced the principle that 
"requests for the detail of officers to attend courses of instruction at schools of the 
Army Ground Forces must originate within the tactical unit concerned, and 
have the approval of the unit commander." 18 

Under the procedure set up to carry out the new policy, the school commands 
notified unit commanders of the number of vacancies in school courses available 
to their units; the commanders could fill the vacancies or not. 19 In effect these 
notifications were the unit's quota allotment. Quotas were allotted at first directly 
to regiments, later to divisions, and still later to armies and separate corps. These 
changes were occasioned by the discovery that personnel turnover in lower units 
was too rapid for the allotting school command to follow. Quotas were more 
likely to be assigned where needed if a higher headquarters apportioned a bulk 
allotment among its subordinate units. 

The new system was effective in getting men to school. Unit commanders 
rarely failed to fill quotas allotted to them, partly because there was sometimes an 
overstrength that could be spared, and partly because the prospect of having to 
furnish cadres at a later date prompted commanders to prepare themselves by 
sending men to school. But the procedure did not implement effectively the 
principle of command responsibility. A quota allotment issued by a higher head- 
quarters even when accompanied by a general statement that filling quotas was 
not mandatory, savored of command. To tell a commander in a quota allotment 
how many school vacancies were available to him was to tell him how many men 

M Personal ltr o£ Maj Gen R. E. D. Hoyle to Gen McNair, 24 Apr 42. McNair Correspondence. 

17 AGF Tng Div memo for Gen McNair, 29 Mar 42, sub: Attendance o£ Off Filler and Loss Repls at 
Serv Schs Prior to Joining Units. 210.63/ 265. 

18 (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 10 Apr 42, sub: Off Pers. 210.63/265. (2) AGF ltr to CGs R&SC and AA Comd, 
7 Apr 42, sub: Discontinuance of Quotas for Special Serv Schs. 352/70. 

" R&SC 1st ind, 20 Apr 42, on AGF ltr cited in n. 18 (2). 352/70. 



an outside agency thought he should send. The system needed overhauling to 
place the commander effectively in control. 20 

There was another cause for dissatisfaction with the existing arrangement. 
In allotting quotas to armies and separate corps, the Replacement and School 
Command was guided by the number of units of a given branch assigned to each 
command. No account was taken of the status of training of units, and conse- 
quently of their relative needs for school training. Even though armies and 
separate corps could apportion quotas among their units according to need, it 
was felt that allotment of quotas by the school command did not take sufficient 
account of varying needs. Some relatively old, stable, and well-trained units were 
provided with more school vacancies than they could use, while newer units were 
given fewer than they needed. A unit with an early readiness date was assumed 
to have the same school requirements as a nonalerted unit, despite the fact that 
the former could probably not spare any men from the final phases of unit 
training. A fairer basis of dividing school facilities among units was needed. 

Rectification was sought in a radical revision of procedure instituted in June 
1944. Henceforth no quotas or lists of vacancies for school courses were published. 
Instead the Replacement and School Command published to the field a monthly 
list of the starting dates of school courses. Armies and separate corps canvassed 
their subordinate units to determine the number of men each wanted to send to 
school, consolidated the requests, and submitted them to Replacement and School 
Command, which allotted the full quotas requested or, if course capacities were 
too small, a percentage of them. Unit commanders were now in full control and 
could use school facilities as the progress of training dictated. There was no 
danger that changes in needs would be disregarded. The school command, 
regularly informed of the demands for school courses, could undertake revision 
of course capacities promptly when demand increased or slacked of!. 21 

Determination of School Capacities 

Capacities of schools and of individual school courses presented a knotty 
problem. Course capacity had two meanings. It referred on the one hand to the 
number of men who could be trained in a course at one time, either in a single 
class or in several classes running simultaneously. The capacity of the officer can- 

x This paragraph is based on statements of Lt Col H. S. Schrader, AGF G-3 Sec, to AGF Hist Off, 
20 Apr 45. 

a AGF Itr to CGs Second and Fourth Armies, III & XVIII Corps, R&SC, 10 Jun 44, sub: Allotment of 
Quotas for Courses of Instruction at Inf, FA, Cav, Armd, TD, and GA Sch. 352/ 761. 


2 57 

didate course at the Infantry School in September 1942 was 15,400: that number 
of candidates was being trained simultaneously, in 77 concurrent classes of 200 
men each in different stages of advancement. Course capacity also meant the 
number of men who could be trained in a course in a year, calculated by multi- 
plying capacity in the first sense by the quotient of 52 weeks divided by the length 
of the course. In the example cited above the annual capacity was 15,400 times 4 
(the course at the time being 13 weeks long). 

The ideal in establishing course capacities was to provide training for enough 
men but not for too many, avoiding wasted facilities and excessive diversion of 
men from units, and to maintain fairly even capacities and output over extended 
periods, avoiding sharp increases or decreases, which caused confusion and 
wasted effort in the schools. Another object was to produce the required numbers 
when they were needed, neither so early that they accumulated in pools, losing 
skill from inactivity, nor so late that units were handicapped by their absence. 

The task of determining capacity for a given course entailed estimating the 
number of men per unit who needed school training; the number of men who 
had already attended the course; the number of replacements who would 
become available and the percentage of these who should be school-trained; the 
number of units active; the number of units to be activated during the planning 
period; the dates of activation of these units; the physical limitations of school 
plant, personnel, and equipment ; and the probable demand for the course from 
the field. Most of these factors could not be controlled. 

Wide fluctuations in capacity marked the history of the schools after 1940 
and illustrated the difficulty of operating institutions almost wholly dependent 
on external conditions for a regular supply of students. 22 The capacity of the 
Infantry School, for example, rose to a peak of 18,810 in November 1942, dropped 
nearly 50 percent to 9,388 in May 1943, and remained fairly stable until June 1944, 
when it jumped from 10,991 to a new high of 19,455. The rise and fall in the 
capacity of the Antiaircraft Artillery School were even sharper. In terms of 
strength figures as an index (strength paralleled capacity closely until 1944), 
this school rose from a moderate size of approximately 1,700 in March 1942 to 
nearly 15,000 in July 1943. By December of the same year the school had shrunk 
almost to its original size, 2,700. The major cause of these rapid changes in school 
size was the officer candidate program, the vicissitudes of which are traced above 
in "The Procurement of Officers." 23 Capacities of other courses were much more 

" AGF G-3 Schs Br study, I Mar 45, sub: Capacities of AGF Schs and RTCs. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 
21 See "The Procurement of Officers" in this volume. 


stable. If officer candidate capacities are subtracted, the curve of school size 
flattens out considerably. Without officer candidates, the capacities of the Infantry 
School were as follows: November 1942, 4,310; May 1943, 5,788; and June 1944, 
6,655. Officer candidate training in all schools in 1942 and 1943 (and at the 
Infantry School in 1944) received the highest priority. As officer candidate school 
capacity increased, the remaining courses were crowded into the slack left 
between candidate requirements and the limit of school facilities. When the can- 
didate schools contracted, other courses were increased, but never to the limit of 
previous candidate operations. Large amounts of plant and equipment were 
simply left unused or were converted to noninstructional functions; instructors 
were relieved ; and school troop units were assigned elsewhere. When the next 
burst of production was ordered, reconversion and retraining had to be under- 
taken at great expense of time and effort and with considerable loss of efficiency. 

The Parachute School 

The Parachute School, in a strict sense, was not a service school. The airborne 
establishment never achieved the status of a combat arm, but airborne operations 
presented peculiar problems, for which special training had to be provided. The 
Parachute School was established to conduct this training. In contrast to the 
schools of the recognized arms, it was not the agency of a single arm; it cut 
across branch lines, training all prospective members of parachute units — 
infantrymen, field artillerymen, medical aid men, and chaplains. It conducted 
a common course for all students, officer and enlisted, regardless of branch or 
assignment — the basic jump or basic parachute course. Beyond this course its 
program included only enlisted technician subjects peculiar to parachute opera- 
tions. It did not conduct basic or advanced officer courses, nor did it duplicate the 
facilities of branch schools for technical instruction presenting no problem 
peculiar to airborne operations. Whereas the regular schools trained only a frac- 
tion of the men assigned to units of the branch, the Parachute School trained — in 
the basic courses, at least — every man in every parachute unit. Whereas the other 
schools trained only a small percentage of total replacements — the most tech- 
nical — the Parachute School trained all parachute replacements. It was, then, a 
combined school, activation agency, and replacement center, without specific 
branch affiliation, and limited to instruction in a technique of transportation 
and in the technical problems created by drop landing. 

II. Development of 
the AGF School Program 

The mission of the special service schools before 1940 had been to provide 
competent leaders for all units of an arm or service, to qualify instructors for the 
various regular and civilian components of the Army, and to develop and perfect 
arm or service technique and arm tactics. To perform the last of these functions 
each school engaged in research and experimentation. The first two constituted 
the teaching mission. 

The curricula of the special service schools on the eve of mobilization were 
the end products of a series of developments beginning in 1920, when the educa- 
tional system of the Army was formalized. Under the original plan for officer 
training, a career officer attended, at intervals between tours of duty, three suc- 
cessive courses at the School of his arm — a Basic Course, a Company, Troop, or 
Battery Officers Course, and a Field Officers Course. These courses averaged nine 
months in length. Special service school courses were preliminary to the Com- 
mand and General Staff School and Army War College, which constituted the 
officer's "higher" education. The three-course scheme proved impractical. It 
cost more than meager appropriations would sustain. It kept officers away from 
troops too much of the time. It deferred until too late in an officer's career his 
readiness for the general service schools and for higher command or general staff 

In 1922 the number of regular officer courses at special service schools was 
reduced to two. The Basic Course was dropped from the schools and was con- 
ducted for all new officers in troop schools of the units to which they were initially 
assigned. This plan was followed until 1936, when need for further economy 
forced another reduction in the number of regular courses for officers. The two 
existing courses were combined to make a single regular course, which was 
taught until 1940. 1 

In addition to the regular course for officers, each school taught a National 
Guard and Reserve Officers Course, an abridged version of the regular course, 
usually lasting three months; a short refresher course for senior officers of the 

1 G-3 Study, "Course at the Army War College, 1939-1940," Rpt of Committee No. 2, sub: Mil 
Education, pp. 84-87. AWC Records. 



arm; and such advanced specialist courses as the Tank Course at the Infantry 
School, the Advanced Equitation Course at the Cavalry School, an Advanced 
Course in Motors at the Field Artillery School, and the Advanced Technical 
Course at the Coast Artillery School. 

For enlisted men, both general and specialist courses were also provided. 
The general courses were for noncommissioned officers. Such courses were 
designed either, as in the Cavalry School's Regular Army NCO Course, to 
develop unit instructors, extend the training of noncommissioned officers, and 
prepare them for duty with civilian components of the Army, or, as in the Infan- 
try School's Refresher Course for Sergeant Instructors on National Guard Duty, 
to review the duties of noncommissioned officers and bring them up to date on 
recent developments in the arm. The specialist courses were more numerous and 
more important. Such subjects as tank maintenance, communications, saddlery, 
and motor maintenance were covered in specialist courses conducted for both 
Regular Army and National Guard enlisted men. These courses were the prin- 
cipal means by which the school disseminated to the branch at large the innova- 
tions and refinements of technique produced by the research of its staff. 8 

The Schools in 1940-41 

With the beginning of mobilization in 1940 the War Department authorized 
service schools to conduct, as contemplated in Mobilization Regulations, four 
types of courses: (1) refresher courses for selected officers of all Army com- 
ponents; (2) a special basic course for newly commissioned officers; (3) specialist 
courses for selected officers; and (4) specialist courses for key enlisted personnel. 3 
The 9-month regular course, the National Guard and Reserve Officers refresher 
courses, and the refresher courses for senior Regular Army officers were discon- 
tinued. 4 All courses were short, none longer than twelve weeks, in conformity 
with the War Department principle that " it is . . . out of the question to expect 
the Army School system to complete the individual instruction of any personnel 
prior to arrival at his organization." 8 

* AR 350-200, 350-400, 350-600, 350-700. 

* (1) WD ltr AG 352.01 (7-26-40) M-C to Chiefs of Br, 31 Jul 40, sub: Courses at Spec Serv Schs. 
(2) TAG memo AG 352.01 (6-1 1-40) M-C to Coflnf, 15 Jun 40, sub as in (1 ). AGO Records. 

* (1) WD ltr AG 352.01 (7—27-40) M-M to CGs and Comdt FA Sch, 1 Aug 40, sub: Courses of Instruc- 
tion at the FA Sch. (2) WD ltr 352.01 (6-18-40) M M-C to Chiefs, 18 Jun 40, sub: Courses for Regular OfTs 
at Spec Serv Schs, 1940-41. AGO Records. At the Infantry School the Special Refresher Course for Senior 
National Guard Officers was not discontinued until January, 1041. 

'TAG 1st ind AG 352.01 (6-18-40) M-C, 22 Jun 40, on Coflnf memo for TAG, 18 Jun 40. AGO 



Provision of both officers refresher and officers basic courses proved unneces- 
sary. So few Regular Army officers were available to guide the mobilization that 
none could be spared for refresher courses ; most of the Reserve officers called to 
duty were in the company grades and in need of basic training. Basic and 
refresher instruction were merged in courses variously called Basic, Company 
Officers, Battery Officers, and Rifle and Heavy Weapons Company Commanders 
Courses. Advanced courses for battalion or similar unit commanders and staff 
officers were not established until 1941 except at the Infantry and Field Artillery 
Schools, where such courses began in November 1940. Specialist courses for both 
officers and enlisted men were few in number at this stage, and the offerings of 
the various schools were fairly uniform. 

Training of enlisted specialists had three purposes : to provide replacements 
for specialists sent from units in cadres; to augment the number of specialists pro- 
vided to new units, and to furnish existing units with additional specialists for 
use in later cadres. 6 The core of instruction for specialists was constituted by 
motor and communications courses for both officers and enlisted specialists, 
given at all the schools. Courses in such specific branch subjects as tank main- 
tenance, horseshoeing, gun maintenance, and height-finder operation were also 
given. No school gave more than eight courses for enlisted specialists, and one, the 
Infantry School, gave only two. 

Additions to school programs were not numerous in 1941. The Coast Artil- 
lery School added several officers specialist courses, and the Field Artillery School 
instituted a course for Field Officers. The Cavalry School increased its enlisted 
specialist program by starting horseshoeing, saddlery, motors, communications, 
and armory courses. The training of full-track vehicle mechanics was begun at 
the Field Artillery School, of motor and radar operators at the Coast Artillery 
School, and of blacksmiths and sheet metal workers at the Armored School. No 
officer or enlisted courses were added in 194 1 at the Infantry School. The most 
significant addition to the school program in 1941 was the officer candidate 
courses, although quantitatively they were of only minor importance before 
Pearl Harbor. 

The major effort of the schools during the preliminary mobilization period 
from September 1940 to December 1941 was directed toward training as many 
as possible of the 100,000 National Guard and Reserve officers who had been 
called to active duty. Most of the Reserve officers, as already noted, were in the 

* WD ltr AG 200.63 FA Sch (6-17-40) E to CGs, 18 Jun 40, sub: En] Specialists Courses, FA Sch. 
AGO Records. 



company grades ; they were to be the primary agents in carrying out training pro- 
grams in units and replacement centers. The needs of an inexperienced officer in 
preparing for this task were as follows: (1) information to pass on to his men 
and knowledge of where to find additional information; (2) reasonable skill in 
the subjects to be taught, to enable him to demonstrate them and to recognize 
good and bad performance among his men ; (3) familiarity — and, if possible, pro- 
ficiency — with the most effective methods of conducting training in each subject; 
(4) knowledge of army administration to enable him to command a unit effi- 
ciently; and (5) a conviction of the importance of leadership in training and 
combat. The officers basic courses took shape from these needs, of which the first 
three were paramount at the moment. It would have been desirable to give each 
officer an opportunity to teach a school unit at least some of the subjects for which 
he was to be responsible, after he had acquired some skill in the material himself. 
Limitations of time and facilities made this impossible. The procedure adopted 
was to instruct the officer in a basic subject and simultaneously to demonstrate to 
him how he should teach it to his men. Each subject was made as similar as pos- 
sible, in scope, sequence, and method of presentation, to the courses which the 
officers were later to teach. School instructors repeatedly directed the attention of 
the officer students to the methods being used on them and to the value of these 
methods in their later service. The officers were told that learning the subject and 
learning how it should be taught were of equal importance. This procedure was a 
compromise and inevitably had its disadvantages. Officers did little or no instruct- 
ing; there was a wide gap between knowledge of a good instructional prac- 
tice and facility in its use. The need to attend at the same time to a subject and to 
the technique being used to present it was undoubtedly confusing. Moreover, a 
class of officers was not the same as a class of enlisted men ; the pressure of time 
frequently formed the use of methods — heavy reliance on the lecture is but one 
example — which the officers could not employ in a unit without loss of effective- 
ness. Despite these disadvantages the procedure adopted did produce officers who 
knew their subjects, had a model of good teaching practice, and approached their 
tasks in fairly uniform ways. 

As a result of the attempt to reproduce for students approximately the train- 
ing they would later conduct, programs of instruction for the basic courses paral- 
leled rather closely the training programs for small units and replacement cen- 
ters. Such purely operational subjects as administration and military law were 
given relatively little time. 

By no means all Reserve and National Guard officers attended the basic 



course of their arm. By the end of 1943 approximately 40,000 officers had been 
graduated from them. Many Reserve officers, of course, were of higher rank 
and ineligible to attend. Others were so urgently needed for training that they 
could not be spared until they had been promoted past the appropriate rank for 
the course. Of the 40,000 officers graduated from basic courses, the bulk were 
trained in 1940 and 1941 and played a role of great importance in the early phases 
of mobilization. 

Expansion, 1942 

The great expansion in the AGF school program occurred in 1942. Existing 
school facilities grew enormously, largely to accommodate the thousands of offi- 
cer candidates who had to be trained for the hundred divisions and the multitude 
of other units which it was planned to activate in 1942 and 1943. Basic courses 
for commissioned officers were continued, but the numbers enrolled in them 
steadily declined. Training masses of candidates while continuing to operate offi- 
cers basic courses was greatly simplified by the use of common programs of 
instruction for both. Whether a student was a candidate about to take up his 
duties for the first time, or an officer of little or no experience, it was assumed 
that the same basic instruction was required, with principal attention given to 
weapons, materiel, small-unit tactics, and methods of instruction, administration, 
and leadership. More emphasis, to be sure, was placed on leadership in the course 
as given to officer candidates, and they were also held to more rigorous standards 
of conduct and achievement. But the two courses were substantially identical, 
and this facilitated the preparation and use of instructors, the assignment of areas, 
buildings, and ranges, and the use of school troops. However, as more and more 
officers came to the basic courses, not directly from Reserve status or brief duty 
with troops but from extended tours in units or training centers, it became 
increasingly clear that the background and requirements of such men and of 
officer candidates were too different to be dealt with satisfactorily by a common 
course. Officers tended to resent being given the same training as enlisted men 
who were not yet officers. Many, having conducted unit or individual training 
for a period of time, felt they could gain little from a course designed to teach 
them just that. These attitudes, whether or not justified, interfered seriously with 
instruction. 7 

During 1942, 54,233 candidates were trained and commissioned in the AGF 
officer candidate schools, nearly forty times the number who were graduated in 

7 Statement of Col P. H. Kron, Sec Inf Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 7 Mar 45. 



1941. By the end of 1942 the training of junior leaders had been substantially com- 
pleted in the officers basic courses. A survey conducted at the end of the year 
showed that in four arms only a comparatively small number of officers remained 
who had not attended either an officer candidate or an officers basic course. 

An important addition to the curriculum of some of the schools in 1942 
was a course for officers assigned to units scheduled for activation. Early in 1942 
General Headquarters worked out a plan for the activation of infantry divi- 
sions. 8 Key officers of the various branch components of the division attended a 
special course at their respective service school prior to the activation date. The 
Infantry School organized, and began to operate in January 1942, a 4-week course 
for the infantry component, consisting of the assistant division commander, regi- 
mental commanders and staffs, battalion commanders and their executives, and 
company commanders — ninety-two officers in all. Similarly, the officers of 
the artillery component attended a preactivation course at the Field Artillery 
School. These, courses were designed to familiarize key members of command 
and staff with the activation plan, to make available to them the lessons learned 
by earlier cadres, to assist them in drawing up training programs and schedules, 
to permit them to become acquainted with each other and with the policies of 
the commander, and to prepare them for the many difficult problems they 
would encounter during the early stages of training. Special instruction was con- 
ducted for regimental and battalion staffs as a whole and for members of the 
individual staff sections. 8 The schools followed closely the progress of each divi- 
sion as it was activated, in order to correct their teaching and increase the help 
they could give cadres of later divisions. A total of 3,746 officers attended the New 
Division Course at the Infantry School from January 1942 until July 1943, when, 
with division activations coming to an end, the course was no longer needed. One 
class per month had been conducted in 1942 — except in March, November, and 
December — and during the first six months of 1943. 10 

Formulation of a Policy for Officer Training, 1943 

The tremendous production of officer candidates, which had occupied the 
major attention of AGF schools in 1942, had eliminated the officer shortage by the 
end of that year. To prevent a wasteful production of new officers in excess of 

" See below, [The Building and Training of Infa ntry Divisions. "| 

" Personal ltr of Gen McNair to Gen Parks, 27 Mar 43. McNair Correspondence. 

10 Study, "Authorized Course Capacities for All Courses at the Infantry School, 1940-1945." Files of 
Inf Sch, Ft Benning, Ga. 



anticipated requirements for the coming year, the War Department on 15 
December 1942 directed a severe cut in officer candidate school capacities. 
Amounting to approximately 50 percent of capacities currently devoted to train- 
ing candidates, the cut released facilities for training 18,000 more officers and 
enlisted men each quarter than were currently enrolled in schools. 11 Although 
the War Department revised downward slightly its limits on officer candidate 
training, so that an additional capacity of only 14,410 became available, Army 
Ground Forces was still presented with an opportunity to make general readjust- 
ments in its school program. 12 

It was decided late in 1942 to use part of the available facilities for a "major 
expansion" of advanced courses for officers. Large numbers of officers — products 
for the most part of the officer candidate program — had accumulated in pools 
and in unit overstrengths toward the end of 1942; the graduation of candidate 
classes in session in late 1942 would augment this stock. Of these officers many 
had already served for several months with troops and during 1943 many more 
would complete a tour of troop duty. It was considered essential to return a pro- 
portion of them to school for advanced training. 13 

As the question of how best to employ the available school facilities was 
explored in Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, and as the schools and school 
commands sent in their recommendations, it became clear that a general policy 
for the training of officers was needed. Little consistency was apparent in the 
handling of officer schooling in the several arms. Events had moved so rapidly, 
and the schools had expanded so quickly to meet varying requirements, that the 
only fixed policy had been to get as many officers as could be spared from units to 
some sort of school course. General McNair directed his G-3 in February 1943 to 
"take stock and determine what should be our goal in the education of officers" 
and to evolve "a basic program for future schooling of officers." 14 He proposed 
for consideration a total of six months' schooling for officers, believing the three 
months given in candidate and basic courses too little. He suggested that G-3 
consider extending the basic courses, although he felt that the OCS course need 

11 WD memo (S) WDGAP 352 OCS for CG AGF, 15 Dec 42, sub: Quarterly Capacities of AGF OCSs. 
352/12 (OCS)(S). 

12 Tab N, AGF G-3 study (S), 26 Feb 43, sub: AGF Schs. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 

" (1) AGF Itr (S) to CGs R&SC, AA Comd, and CofArmd F, 19 Dec 42, sub: Quarterly Capacities of 
AGF OCSs. (2) AGF memo (S) for ACofS USA, 31 Dec 42, sub as in (1). Both in 352/12 (OCS)(S). 

" AGF M/S, CofS to G-3, 20 Feb 43, sub: Utilization of Facilities Made Available by the Reduction in 
OCS Capacity. In Tab P of AGF G-3 study (S), 26 Feb 43, sub: AGF Schs. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 



not be lengthened except in Antiaircraft and Field Artillery. In this he differed 
from his G-i, who had suggested in December that available capacity should be 
absorbed in part by extension of the OCS course. 15 While recommending six 
months as a desirable figure to use in planning officers' school training, General 
McNair did not believe it necessary to adopt a uniform standard for all arms. 
Study might reveal, he thought, that an infantry officer should go to school for 
five months, a field artilleryman for six, and an antiaircraft officer for some other 

Working along the lines suggested by General McNair, G-3, Army Ground 
Forces, produced a study of the school problem and a set of recommendations 
that formed the basis for subsequent AGF policy. 16 G-3 recommended that 
courses should be extended "reluctantly" ; preferably, it was suggested, students 
should be returned to school for subsequent courses after serving with troops. 
With this view General McNair agreed. "It is better," he said, "to return students 
for the advanced course than to lengthen the basic course." But it did not seem 
likely that all officers could return to school for advanced instruction. At the 
time the study was made, school capacities were large enough to provide 
advanced training for only 34 percent of the officers in AGF units, or 25 percent 
of all AGF officers. In General McNair 's opinion it was unnecessary to send all 
officers to the advanced course ; he wrote that "perhaps as few as one third will 
answer our needs." 17 

Changes in the school program followed. Expansion of officers basic courses 
at the Infantry and Field Artillery Schools, which had been recommended by the 
schools and the Replacement and School Command, was disapproved, even 
though Army Ground Forces had reported to the War Department in February, 
before the G-3 study was made, a decision to make such an expansion. The study 
had revealed that only 8,301 officers of the four traditional arms lacked basic 
schooling of some sort. These could easily be trained in the current basic courses 
or, in view of the extended experience of many of the officers, in advanced 

It was the advanced courses, both general and specialist, that received the 
principal increase, as had been planned in December. The change of emphasis 
can best be shown by a comparison of the facilities for advanced training of offi- 

" AGF M/S (S), G-i to G-3, 17 Dec 42, sub: Quarterly Capacities of AGF OCSs. 352/12 (OCS)(S). 

" AGF G-3 study (S), "Army Ground Force Schools," 26 Feb 43. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 

™ AGF M/S, CG to G-3, 27 Feb 43, sub: Utilization of Facilities Made Available by the Reduction in 
OCS Capacity. Tab P of AGF G-3 study cited in n. 1 6. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 


cers at the time the G-3 study was made (February 1943) and those available in 
April 1943: 


Total Officers 
with Troop Units 
{Including 1943 

Annual Capacity 
for Advanced 

Percentage of Officers 
for Whom 
School Capacity 
was Available 

Officer Secondary 
School Capacity 

per Unit 
( Regt or Similar 
Hq or Bn) 











2 3 










II. I 




7>94 8 










2 4 

2 4 






















3.o r 3 













Source: AGF G-3 study (S), sub: AGF Schs. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 

While capacities were being increased, the advanced courses were changed. 
They had been designed for field officers and senior captains. The names given 
the courses — Field Officers, Battalion Commanders and Staff Officers, Squadron 
Commanders and Staff Officers, and Squadron Commanders — had reflected this 
intention. In all schools, graduation from a basic or officer candidate course had 
been a prerequisite for admission to an advanced course. Major emphasis had 
been placed on tactics and staff procedures. Readjustments were made to meet the 
new conditions. The officers for whom increased advanced schooling was to be 
provided were largely of company grade, and their need for training could not 
wait upon the uncertainties of promotion. Numerous officers with considerable 
troop experience, of both company and field grades, had not attended a basic 
or officer candidate course; to prevent commanders from sending them to 
advanced courses because of the current entrance requirement would deny 
schooling to those who needed it most — officers without recent school training. 
Moreover, if the courses were to be thrown open to officers who had been away 
from school for some time, advanced courses had to be made more general. 
Weapons, the tactics of units smaller than the battalion, and the technique of 
troop leading had to be stressed. 

The principle on which advanced schooling had been provided was there- 



fore changed. General courses for officers were established not in terms of rank, 
as formerly, but in terms of qualification, based in turn on recency of school 
training and amount of duty with troops. Army Ground Forces directed that 
courses be renamed : Field Officers, Battalion Commanders, and Squadron Com- 
manders Courses became simply Officers Advanced Courses. 18 They were opened 
to any officer above the grade of second lieutenant whom a commander con- 
sidered qualified to attend; no other school course was a prerequisite. 19 The 
Infantry and Field Artillery Schools were directed to lay particular emphasis on 
technique. The purpose of the Infantry School Advanced Course was announced 
as "the development of field commanders of battalions and companies." The 
Advanced Course at the Field Artillery School, extended from eight to twelve 
weeks, was to review the Basic Course and to train officers for duty in battalion, 
group, and corps artillery headquarters. 20 When the Field Artillery School 
requested permission to reinstitute an old special Advanced Course for higher 
commanders — discontinued in 1941 for lack of qualified students — Army 
Ground Forces disapproved. Maneuvers, Army Ground Forces believed, were 
the best school for teaching tactical employment of artillery ; "the entire resources 
of the school," the AGF reply stated, "should be devoted to building up sound 
technical training at this time." 21 When the Tank Destroyer School proposed 
an Advanced Tactical Course, Army Ground Forces directed that the name be 
changed to Officers Advanced Course because "it is desired not to stress too much 
tactics." The primary purpose of the course, the school was told, was to develop 
practical field leaders of battalions and companies. 22 The advanced course at the 
Coast Artillery School was lengthened from four weeks to eight. Army Ground 
Forces defined its purpose as "to instruct potential battery and battalion com- 
manders in the technique of seacoast artillery. Theoretical instruction including 

18 AGF ltr (S) to CG R&SC, i Mar 43, sub as in M/S cited in n. 17. 352/17 (OCS) (S). 

18 (1) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 22 Apr 43, sub: Qualifications for OfTs Advanced Courses. 352/610. (2) 
AGF 1st ind (S), 17 May 43, on AA Comd ltr (S) to CG AGF, 23 Mar 43, sub: Expansion of AAA, Cp Davis, 
N. C. 352/12 (OCS)(S). (3) AGF 2d ind, 8 Feb 43, on FA Sch ltr to CG R&SC, 7 Jan 43, sub: Increase in 
Fid Offs Course. 352/17 (OCS) (S). 

20 ( 1 ) AGF 1st ind (S), 26 May 43, on R&SC ltr (S) to CG AGF, 1 May 43, sub: Utilization of Facilities 
Made Available through the Reduction of OCS Capacity in the Inf Sch. 352/17 (OCS)(S). (2) AGF 2d ind, 
8 Feb 43, cited in n. 19 (3) above. 

21 AGF 2d ind, 1 Mar 43, on FA Sch ltr to R&SC, 30 Jan 43, sub: Resumption of Advanced Course 
(Special) (FAS). 352/687 (FA Sch). 

a AGF 3d ind (C) to R&SC, 10 Feb 43, on TD Sch ltr, 29 Dec 42, sub: OfTs Tactical Advanced Course 
at the TD Sch, and atchd AGF M/S, 3 Feb 43, sub: Offs Tac Advanced Course at TD Sch. 352/65 (C). 



command and staff should be kept to a minimum." 23 Major revisions were incor- 
porated in the Cavalry School's Advanced Course to deemphasize tactics, com- 
mand, and staff procedure and to stress the technique of reconnaissance. 24 At the 
Antiaircraft School a new Advanced Course was set up, combining the Officer 
Cadre and Officer Refresher Courses previously given. Although the need for 
officers for new units limited this course to six weeks — only half the standard 
recommended in the G-3 study — it was still two weeks longer than the courses 
it replaced. 25 

The Armored School was an exception to the new trend. Instead of a single 
course for all officers above the grade of second lieutenant, the Armored School 
instituted a Company Commanders Course and a Battalion Commanders Course, 
eight and six weeks long respectively, to replace the Basic Tactical and Advanced 
Tactical Courses. 28 This arrangement continued until late in 1943. By that time 
it had become clear that to obtain a rounded course of advanced instruction an 
officer would have to return to the Armored School two or even three times. This 
was contrary to the policy of returning an officer only once for advanced training. 
The Company and Battalion Commanders Courses overlapped seriously, with 
about 185 hours of common material. Both were too theoretical, 64 percent of the 
time in the Battalion Course being given over to theory, as against 23 and 39 
percent in the Infantry and Field Artillery Advanced Courses, respectively. 
Practical instruction in such subjects as gunnery was left largely to special courses. 
Early in 1944 both courses were abolished, and in their place an Officers Advanced 
Course of thirteen weeks was initiated. Like other AGF advanced courses, it was 
open to officers of all grades above second lieutenant. Theoretical instruction was 
reduced; tactics was minimized; gunnery and the technique of implementing 
tactical decisions were stressed. 27 

Army Ground Forces also refused to permit a three-level system of officer 
schooling when the Tank Destroyer School proposed in August 1943 to institute 
a Company Officers Course. The new course, according to the school, would 

a AGF 1st ind, 5 May 43, on R&SC ltr to AGF, 13 Apr 43, sub: Revision of Offs Advanced Course, CAS. 
With atchd AGF M/S. 352/514 (CAS). 

M Cav Sch ltr to CG R&SC, 26 Mar 43, sub: Revised Programs, Offs Advanced Course, and atchd inds 
and M/Ss. 352/50 (S). 

"AGF M/S (S),G-3toCG, n Mar 43, sub: AASchs. 352/12 (OCS)(S). 

" Armd F ltr to CG AGF, 9 Feb 43, sub: Increase in Intake of Tactical Courses, Armd F Sch, and AGF 
1st ind, 1 Mar 43.352/12 (OCS)(S). 

" (1) AGF ltr to CG Armd Comd, 28 Sep 43, sub: Tng Programs — Bn Comdrs and Co Offs Courses. 
352/269 (Armd F Sch). (2) AGFM/Ssand inds in same file. 



"provide instruction of a grade and quality higher than that given to officer 
candidate classes." It was the view of Army Ground Forces that the inauguration 
of an "intermediate" course would produce less desirable results than extending 
the Tank Destroyer Advanced Course, then only six weeks long, to include the 
review of basic subjects and information on new developments desired by the 
school. The longer advanced course that emerged from the discussion was similar 
in scope and length to those given at the other schools. 28 

A detailed statement of AGF policy on school training, foreshadowed in the 
February study on schools, was issued to the field in July 1943. As a preface to a 
catalogue of school courses then available, a number of principles were laid 
down. Two types of courses comprised an officer's schooling: basic courses 
(officer candidate or regular basic) and advanced courses (regular advanced or 
specialist — motor, communication, etc.). At least four and preferably six months 
should elapse between attendance at a basic and attendance at an advanced 
course, except when an advanced specialist course was very short. An officer might 
attend two advanced courses, regular and specialist. A statement that every officer 
should normally have six months' schooling, which appeared in the draft of the 
directive, was deleted because facilities were too limited for so ambitious a pro- 
gram, even had it been desirable. But for the officers who could be given the full 
school program, six months continued to be the general limit applied by Army 
Ground Forces. 29 

The importance of advanced officer schooling in 1943 can be gauged from 
the number of graduates of the officers' advanced courses or their predecessors at 
four service schools during the period 1941-44: 






Antiaircraft Artillery 







Field Artillery 















To 30 September 1944. 

28 TD Sch ltr to CG R&SC, 12 Aug 43, sub: Co Offs Course. With atchd inds and M/Ss. 352/240 

" (1) AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 19 Jul 43, sub: Courses at AGF Spec Serv Schs. With atchd M/S. 352/48 (R). 
(2) AGF M/S, G-3 to Co£S, 30 Apr 43, sub: Increase in Length o£ OC Courses. 352/440 (OCS). 



While taking steps to make advanced training more generally available and 
more suitable to the needs of line officers, Army Ground Forces consistently 
opposed efforts to extend school training upward to include higher commanders. 
The Antiaircraft School, in February 1943 and again in June, urged the estab- 
lishment of a Special Observers Course to indoctrinate commanders of other 
arms in the proper employment of antiaircraft artillery. Army Ground Forces 
viewed the project with disfavor ; it also disapproved a similar scheme, emanating 
from the Cavalry School, to operate a brief orientation course for higher com- 
manders and staffs in employment of mechanized cavalry reconnaissance. The 
grounds for disapproval were the same in both cases : the best school for higher 
commanders was maneuvers ; when errors were made in employment of a given 
arm they could be corrected on the spot, when the correction would do some 
good. This was a realistic judgment, since a school course for higher commanders, 
because of limitations of troops, ammunition, and areas, was bound to be largely 
theoretical. 30 

As advanced schooling for officers was expanded, the basic courses were 
reduced. In the middle of 1943 basic courses were extended to seventeen weeks 
as a consequence of the extension of the officer candidate courses, which they 
duplicated. 31 By 1 September 1943 there remained only 4,550 officers in the four 
basic arms who had had no schooling; many of these had been on duty so long 
that they were beyond the basic course stage. 32 During the following year, 
therefore, officers basic courses were discontinued. 33 

Until late 1943, the mission of AGF service schools was to supply adequate 
numbers of trained officers and enlisted men, including requirements for cadres, 
to a rapidly expanding army. As expansion gave way to stabilization, deploy- 
ment overseas, and retrenchment at home, the mission changed. From late in 
1943, the task of the schools was "the raising of standards of education generally, 

"AA Comd kr (C) to CG AGF, 23 Feb 43, sub: Establishment of Spec Observers Course at the AAA 
Sch, Cp Davis, N.C., for Selected Pers of Other Arms. With atchd papers. 352/108 (C). (2) R&SC ltr to 
CG AGF, 26 Feb 43, sub: Initiation of Course on Mecz Cav Ren at the Cav Sch, Ft Riley, Kan. With atchd 
papers. 352/293 (Cav Sch). 

"AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 4 Jun 43, sub: Increase in Length of Offs Basic Course. With atchd M/Ss. 

" AGF G-3 study (S), 1 Sep 43, sub: AGF Schs. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 

Retrenchment and Readjustment, 1944-45 

" For dates, see Tables Nosf^] 6\ and[7|below. 



the improvement of training, and the maintenance of the level of personnel 
requiring school training in units." 34 

It had become obvious by late 1943 that the school system needed overhaul- 
ing. Commanders were less interested than formerly in sending qualified men 
to school, as was indicated by complaints from schools about the receipt of 
unqualified students. 35 The schools varied greatly in the relation of their capaci- 
ties to the needs of units. Using as an index the number of battalions plus the 
number of headquarters companies in each arm, a study in November 1943 
revealed the following variations among schools in their ability to provide 
training: 36 

Annual Rate of Graduates Per Unit 

School Officers Courses Enlisted Courses 

Infantry 15.4 13.9 

Field Artillery 20.5 31.8 

Antiaircraft 27.4 36.1 

Coast Artillery 4.2 18.5 

Cavalry 19.7 45.9 

Armored 39.8 110.2 

Tank Destroyer 24.5 100.1 

It was not possible or feasible, of course, to establish a uniform unit-rate for all 
schools : the legitimate needs of various arms differed. Furthermore, some gradu- 
ates of replacement centers were given further training in schools, swelling the 
total for those arms having a high proportion of technicians in the replacement 
stream. But even by the most flexible standard, the productive capacities of the 
Tank Destroyer and Armored Schools, at least, were vastly in excess of any 
reasonable demand. 

In October 1943 the capacity of the Tank Destroyer School was cut 33 percent 
for officers courses and 47 percent for enlisted courses. 37 Field commanders were 
canvassed to determine what courses were desired and how large they should 

" AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 9 Nov 43, sub: Courses at AGF Spec Serv Schs. 352/69 (R). 

"See papers in 352/735 and /740 (FA Sch); 352/251, /254, /286, /263, ^83, /288, /294, and 
/299 (Armd Sch). 

38 Tab G to AGF M/S (C), G-3 Misc Div to G-3, 29 Nov 43, sub: Reduction in Stu Caps at TD Sch. 
352/140 (C). 

"AGF ltr (C) to CG R&SC, 31 Oct 43, sub: Reduction in Stu Caps at TD Sch. With atchd papers. 
352/140 (C). 



be. 38 School capacities were modified on the basis of this survey to fit the demands 
of the field and the requirements for postgraduate training of replacements. 
Modifications were generally downward, a reduction of 1,000 each being made in 
the capacities of the Infantry, Field Artillery, Cavalry, Armored, and Tank 
Destroyer Schools. At the same time some courses for which there was no longer 
a need were eliminated. The Pioneer Courses for officers and enlisted men and 
the Enlisted Weapons Course at the Tank Destroyer School were discontinued. 
They had been justified when the activation rate was rapid and cadre specialists 
in these categories were not available in established units. But in a mature estab- 
lishment these subjects were the proper concern of units, not of service schools. 
The Armored School was directed to stop operating courses for Enlisted 
Machinists and Enlisted Radiator, Body, and Fender Repairmen, because these 
were properly Ordnance Department subjects, and also to discontinue courses for 
Enlisted Blacksmiths and Welders, because enough had been trained to meet all 
demands. 39 

Concurrently, steps were taken to establish definitely the percentage of 
replacement center graduates who would be sent to service schools for further 
training. In August 1943 the War Department had directed that no more than 
5 percent of all AGF replacements be given further schooling ; but no apportion- 
ment of that fraction was made by Army Ground Forces, even though a Septem- 
ber study revealed considerable variations in the percentages of men sent to 
school from replacement training centers of the various arms and even from 
different replacement training centers of a single arm. 40 Definite allotments of 
the number of RTC graduates who might be school-trained were finally made 
in February 1944, each arm being given a fixed percentage based on the technical 
requirements of its training. 41 

These efforts to bring school activities more closely into conformity with 
current needs resulted also in reducing the overhead personnel used to operate 
the schools. The need for channeling all possible manpower into combat forces 
was so urgent that reduction of overhead became a separate concern. Staffs of 

M AGF ltr (R) to CGs, 9 Nov 43, sub: Courses at AGF Spec Serv Schs. 352/69 (R). 

09 (1) AGF ltrs to CG R&SC and CG Armd Comd, 26 Jan 44, sub: Adjustments in Capacities of. Courses 
at AGF Schs. 352/706. (2) AGF G-3 study, undated [ — Jan 44], sub: Proposed Adjustments in Capacities 
of Courses. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 

40 (1) WD memo (R) for CGs AGF, ASF, AAF, 14 Aug 43, sub: Utilization of Pers. 320.2/255 (R). 
(2) AGF G-3 study (S), 1 Sep 43, sub: AGF Schs. 314.7 (AGF Hist)(S). 

41 AGF ltr to CGs R&SC, Armd Comd, 3 Feb 44, sub: Sch Tng for RTC Specialists. 352/71 2. 


schools and replacement centers represented the principal sources in Army 
Ground Forces of men not in combat units and available for such assignment. 
Owing largely to their relatively decentralized and unsupervised growth, the 
schools were overstaffed. While school capacities and enrollments had fallen 
steadily, school overhead had declined only slightly. At the peak of school 
operations, capacities had been 60,378, and overhead, including school troops, 
30,486 — a ratio of approximately 2 students to 1 overhead. By 1 December 1943 
an enrollment of 24,094 was using an overhead of 22,819, a ratio of almost 1 to 1. 
The overhead authorized for the schools was considerably higher than necessary, 
and the overhead actually used was 3,600 above that authorized. It was estimated 
that, in all, 10,000 officers and men could be withdrawn from the schools without 
injury to their operations. 

The schools were directed in February 1944 to eliminate their overstrength 
at once and to achieve by 1 May a ratio of 1.5 students (capacity) to 1 overhead. 
Because requirements for administrative personnel were relatively inelastic, not 
falling proportionately with decline in students, it was not considered feasible 
to set the ratio at 2 to 1, the ratio attained in 1943.* 2 It was much easier to order 
such a reduction than to achieve it. The schools, believing that their efficiency 
derived in no small measure from the use of small instructional groups, protested 
strongly against a measure which they feared would increase the size of classes. 
Because regular rotation of instructors continued in force, more teaching per 
instructor was required from men who were on the whole less expert than those 
they replaced. As there was always a chance that new courses or new increases of 
capacity would become necessary, the schools were afraid that they would be 
left without means to cope with a new expansion. 43 Reductions were made despite 
these objections. With infantry divisions being stripped to supply replacements, 
the demand for savings in overhead became ever more urgent. Fortunately, actual 
enrollment in the schools proved to be lower than had been forecast, except at the 
Infantry School, where officer candidate training rose sharply. By working 
instructors harder, by conserving transportation, by curtailing such luxuries as 
enlisted assistants to display charts, and by similar economies the schools managed 
to survive on a slimmer diet. 

These economies were only a foretaste of what was to come. While Army 
Ground Forces was squeezing a 10,000-man surplus out of the schools, the War 

"AGF ltr (C) to CGs, 16 Feb 44, sub: Reduction in Overhead of Schs. 352/222 (C). 

" For the attitude of the schools see memo of Col Jeter for AGF G—3, 1 1 Mar 44, sub: Obsn during 
Visit to R&SCs. AGF G-3 file 333.1/99 (1944). 



Department, in February 1944, directed the elimination of 25,000 men from AGF 
overhead, which included operating personnel for schools as well as replacement 
centers, depots, and headquarters, during the second half of the year. 44 This was 
to be accomplished by curtailing officer candidate schools and by reducing over- 
head in the Airborne, Antiaircraft, and Armored Commands, in the Infantry, 
Cavalry, and Field Artillery Schools, and in the Tank Destroyer Center. A stay 
was granted in the accomplishment of this directive, in view of the recent 
expansion of replacement training centers and depots, the probable increase in 
officer candidate production, and the likelihood that schools would have to 
expand in 1945 to provide advanced training for the additional replacements and 
candidates produced in 1944. It was desirable to maintain a level of overhead 
sufficient to handle these anticipated requirements. 45 In June 1944 the War 
Department, believing that the limit of economy in the use of overhead had not 
been reached, directed Army Ground Forces to consider the elimination or 
consolidation of the Cavalry, Coast Artillery, Armored, and Tank Destroyer 
Schools and of certain replacement centers. 48 A committee of officers of the G-3 
Section, Army Ground Forces, appointed to study these and related economies, 
recommended in July that the Armored, Cavalry, and Tank Destroyer Schools 
be consolidated, that new ratios of overhead to students be applied, and that 
numerous revisions be made in the school programs. Among the latter were 
proposals to reduce the length of officers advanced courses, to eliminate pack 
artillery training at the Field Artillery School, to combine four officers advanced 
courses at the Antiaircraft School into one, and to discontinue certain specialist 
courses at the Antiaircraft, Coast Artillery, and Infantry Schools. The committee's 
recommendations, it was anticipated, would save 8,184 m overhead. Further 
savings, the committee believed, could be effected by adopting standard organiza- 
tions for such comparable types of installations as schools and replacement 
centers. 47 G-3, Army Ground Forces, adopted these recommendations only in 
part. The proposals to reduce advanced courses, eliminate pack training at Fort 
Sill, and establish new ratios of students to overhead, were accepted. But G-3 

u WD memo (S) WDGCT 220 (24 Feb 44) for CG AGF, 24 Feb 44, sub: Reduction o£ ZI Establishments. 
320.2/33 (TUB 44XS). 

45 (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 10 Apr 44, sub: Reduction of ZI Establishments. 320.2/33 (TUB 
44)(S). (2) WD memo (S) WDGCT 220 (24 Feb 44) for CG AGF, 6 May 44, sub as in (1). Both in 
320.2/33 (TUB 4 4)(S). 

" WD D/F (S) WDGCT 220 (24 Feb 44) to CG AGF, 13 Jun 44, sub: Reduction of the Bulk Allotment 
to the AGF. 320.2/33 (TUB 44) (S). 

" AGF G-3 Sec memo (S) for G-3, 22 Jul 44, sub: Committee Rpt. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 



did not favor consolidating the Armored, Cavalry, and Tank Destroyer Schools. 
Consolidation would inevitably produce confusion that might interfere with 
meeting theater requirements for trained personnel. The schools were going 
concerns, capable of adjusting to changed needs. Future needs were indeter- 
minate, and flexibility in meeting them might be sacrificed under a highly 
centralized school system. Finally, elimination of schools would imply a pre- 
liminary judgment in respect to the survival of Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, and 
Armored as separate arms; the time was not ripe, G-3 believed, for such 
decisions. 48 

In August and again in September 1944 the War Department renewed its 
drive for economy. In August consolidation of service schools and reduction in 
the number of school courses were recommended, together with consolidation 
and elimination of certain replacement training centers and officer candidate 
schools. 49 The September memorandum specifically directed Army Ground 
Forces to consolidate the Tank Destroyer and Cavalry Officer Candidate Schools 
with the Armored Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox and to combine the 
Tank Destroyer School and Armored School at Fort Knox, at the earliest prac- 
ticable date. 50 Officer candidate training for the three branches was concentrated 
at Fort Knox, the first combined class starting in November. The consolidation 
of the Tank Destroyer and Armored Schools, which the G-3 committee had 
recommended in July, was not carried out. Further study showed that at Fort 
Knox artillery ranges were inadequate and tactical training areas too small; 
fire and movement problems required for tank destroyer and mechanized cavalry 
instruction would be impossible. The saving of overhead that could be achieved 
by combining the schools would not be large, and the cost of the move was 
estimated in the millions. Loss of efficiency in instruction was probable. The War 
Department decided not to require consolidation. 51 

While the question of consolidation and elimination of schools was being 
studied, reductions were made in activities within the schools. The July G-3 study 
had recommended reduction in the length of officers advanced courses. It soon 

" AGFM/S (S), G-3 to CofS, 26 Jul 44, sub: Committee Rpt. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 

"WD memo (S) WDGCT 353 (19 Aug 44) for CG AGF, 19 Aug 44, sub: Consolidation of Tng 
Activities. 353/215 (S). 

" WD memo (R) WDGCT 352 (16 Sep 44) for CG AGF, 16 Sep 44, sub: Consolidation of Certain AGF 
Schs. 352/176 (R). 

81 (1) AGF memo (R) for CofS USA, 5 Oct 44, sub: Consolidation of Certain AGF Schs. 352/176 (R). 
(2) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 3 Oct 44, sub: Consolidation of Tng Activities. 353/215 (S). (3) WD 
D/F (R) to CG AGF, 9 Oct 44. 352/176 (R). 



became apparent that most courses were longer than necessary. AGF units were 
being deployed more rapidly than had been anticipated when courses were 
originally planned. It was found that unit commanders confronted with early 
readiness dates could not afford to permit their men to be absent at schools for 
long courses. It was thought at Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, that tactical 
courses for officers could be reduced from three months to six weeks, and that 
technical courses for both officers and enlisted men could be reduced to about 
eight weeks without impairment of standards. 52 Recommendations on reduction 
of courses were submitted by the schools, the Replacement and School Command, 
and the Antiaircraft Command. Almost without exception the schools held out 
for less drastic reductions than those proposed by Army Ground Forces, insisting 
that standards could not be maintained if curtailment were too severe. 83 

Actually courses were not reduced; they were eliminated. By the time the 
replies were tabulated, in late September 1944, the conditions that had called forth 
the original proposals for reduction had changed. The bulk of AGF units had 
left the United States or were about to leave. 54 The demand for school training 
for personnel assigned to units was nearing the vanishing point. During the six 
months from May to October 1944, requests from units for officers course quotas 
decreased 66 percent. Actual attendance during the same period had averaged 
only 60 percent of the authorized capacities of all school courses, modest though 
these were by earlier standards. These facts caused G-3, Army Ground Forces, 
to remark in October that "our service schools were dying a natural death due to 
a lack of students." 55 Except at the Infantry and Field Artillery Schools, demands 
for attendance at existing officers courses were so small that their continuance 
could not be justified. It was decided to eliminate all officers courses at these 
schools; officers in need of training currently given would be accommodated in 
similar enlisted courses. 56 Aside from the need to continue specialist courses for 
infantry and field artillery officers, one general requirement for officer training 
remained. Each arm contained a number of officers who had not yet been over- 

52 (1) AGF ltr, 24 Aug 44, sub: Reduction in Length of Courses at Serv Schs. (2) AGF M/S, G-3 to 
CofS, 19 Aug 44, sub as in (1 ) above. Both in 352.1 1 /511. 

53 (1) Recommendations by Schools, R&SC, and AA Comd in 352/357 (C). (2) AGF M/S, G-3 to 
CofS, 23 Sep 44, sub as in n. 52 above. 352. 1 1 / ^ 1 1 . 

64 AGF Stat Sec Rpt (C), 19 Mar 45, sub: Comparison of Enl Strengths of AGF — By Months, Troop 
Units (C). AGF Stat Sec files. 

55 AGF M/S, G-3 to CofS, 25 Oct 44, sub: Courses in Serv Schs. 352.1 1/5 18. 

M AGF ltr to CGs and R&SC, 16 Nov 44, sub: Changes in Capacities of Courses at Serv Schs. 352.1 1/5 18. 



seas, who would probably go in the near future, and who had not recently 
attended a general advanced course. They needed some refresher work before 
being assigned overseas. In October Lt. Gen. Ben Lear, Commanding General of 
Army Ground Forces, directed such training for infantry officer replacements. 
Replacement pools contained some officers for whom no assignment existed and 
for whom some useful employment had to be found. Officers without recent troop 
duty needed up-to-date training in combat tactics and technique. The existing 
advanced courses were not suitable for officers in these categories. They were too 
long. Their treatment of many subjects, especially administration, training man- 
agement, and weapons, was too detailed for purposes of review. They were 
generally too diffuse to give officers the required over-all view of their arm. It 
was decided, therefore, to institute in the service schools an 8-week Officers 
Refresher Course, open to any officer of the arm, regardless of rank, who had not 
attended an advanced course within the past year. The refresher courses were 
designed as a "broad, intensive summation of the essentials of tactics, technique, 
and weapons' of the arm." Existing advanced courses in the schools were 

The new courses, which began in most schools early in 1945, had a tactical 
emphasis, the amount of the emphasis varying with the complexity of the 
weapons and material which had to be covered as a preliminary to tactical 
instruction. The proposed allotment of hours to subjects showed general simi- 
larity among the schools, except that the Infantry School concentrated far more 
heavily on tactics than did the others : ST 

Allotment of Hours in Officers Refresher Courses, 1945 







Weapons, Gunnery 





r 3 2 

J 3 2 








General Subjects 










2 4 








Physical Training 






Submarine Mining 


Tank Maintenance 





2 5 









57 Schedules in 352.1 1/518. 



The refresher courses were not intended merely to provide review instruction 
for officer replacements or officers without recent school or troop experience. 
They were projected with redeployment training in mind. Increasing numbers of 
officers were returning from overseas late in 1944. It was anticipated that after 
the defeat of Germany large numbers of officers would need some retraining in 
the United States in preparation for duty in the Pacific. The experience gained 
by the schools in conducting the refresher courses between January 1945 and 
V-E Day would equip them, it was believed, to meet the needs of such redeploy- 
ment instruction. The refresher courses, emphasizing tactics, in which it was 
expected the returnees would be weakest, would be in operation and ready for 
any necessary expansion when restaging began. Special provision was made in 
some of the course programs for subjects pertinent to operations in the Pacific : the 
Infantry School Refresher Course, for example, contained instruction in Army- 
Navy cooperation and in the conduct of landing operations. 58 

Courses for enlisted men were not overhauled so drastically. Although units 
were disappearing rapidly as sources of enlisted students for school courses, the 
output of replacement training centers provided a steady flow of men to be 
given advanced training. It had long been the practice to send a percentage of 
RTC graduates in certain specialities, such as mechanics and radio operators, to 
service schools for advanced training before assignment as replacements. The 
number of such men had not been large in proportion to the total volume of 
replacements — never more than 5 percent in the aggregate — but by the end of 
1944 they made up the bulk of students in the enlisted courses at the schools. 
Enlisted courses had to be kept in operation to train these men, as well as the 
driblets still coming from units and overhead installations. No reductions were 
made in the length of the specialist courses in view of their technical nature, the 
relative inexperience of the students, and the demand for large amounts of 
practical work. 59 At the time the revisions of capacity were made it was hoped 
to increase the proportion of RTC graduates sent to schools for advanced train- 
ing. This would have improved the quality of replacements and permitted more 
economical operation of courses. But the need for replacements became so acute 
late in 1944 and early in 1945 that no more than 5 percent could be diverted from 
the replacement stream. 60 

" AGF 2d wrapper ind, 25 Dec 44, on R&SC 1st wrapper ind, 15 Dec 44, to CG AGF. 352.11/518. 
™ See footnotes[";;5 and 56.] 

m Statement of Lt Col H. S. Schrader, AGF G-3 Sec, to AGF Hist Off, 10 Apr 45. 



The major addition to the school program in a year characterized chiefly by 
curtailment was the Special Basic Course for officers, established in February and 
March 1944. Operated at the Infantry, Field Artillery, and Armored Schools, this 
course was designed to facilitate the conversion to those branches of surplus 
officers of other arms. By the end of 1944, 9,270 officers had been retrained under 
the program: 8,590 at the Infantry School, 642 at the Field Artillery School, and 
38 at the Armored School. 61 

Impetus for establishing the Special Basic Courses came initially from the 
existence of a large surplus of officers in the Antiaircraft establishment. During 
early 1943, output of the Antiaircraft Officer Candidate School was building up a 
surplus of officers even over requirements then contemplated. The modification 
of the 1943 Troop Basis in October, cutting the Antiaircraft strength by 112,000 
men, lowered officer requirements from 24,350 to 18,845. I n December the surplus 
of antiaircraft officers was variously estimated at from 5,000 to over 10,000. Con- 
gregated in officer pools and in large-unit overstrengths, these men were not 
usefully employed and were steadily losing professional skill. It was expected that 
in 1944 and 1945 shortages of officers would develop in other arms, principally in 
the Infantry. Antiaircraft officers were encouraged to transfer voluntarily to 
other arms. By February 1944 it became necessary to reduce the surplus by non- 
voluntary block transfers. The Infantry, Armored, and Field Artillery arms were 
selected as those into which the antiaircraft officers would be transferred. 

Except for a core of common basic subjects, such as first aid, military law, 
small arms, and administration, the training required for an infantry, field artil- 
lery, or armored officer differed fundamentally from that which the surplus 
antiaircraft officers had received. Organization, weapons, technique, and tactics 
of the arms were dissimilar. The transferees would be of little value in their 
new arms without retraining. Such retraining could not be conducted easily or 
uniformly in the units and training centers to which they would be assigned. 
The Infantry and Armored Schools in February 1944, and the Field Artillery 
School in March, organized Special Basic Courses to provide centralized con- 
version training. The courses at the Infantry and Armored Schools lasted eight 
weeks, that at the Field Artillery School ten weeks. Each was an abbreviated 
version of the school's officer candidate course, eliminating subjects covered in 
the Antiaircraft Officer Candidate Course, from which the convertees, all second 
lieutenants, had been graduated. 62 

61 See Tables NosQjl] an<Q below. 

" (1) AGF ltr to CGs, 9 Feb 44, sub: Establishment of Basic Courses to Implement the Conversion of 


Although the largest and most unmanageable surplus of officers was in 
Antiaircraft, excesses were not confined to this arm. Pools and unit overstrengths 
held surpluses in most branches. Once some headway had been made against the 
large backlog of antiaircraft officers, the conversion program was used as a means 
of achieving a balanced officer strength in all ground arms. Beginning in April, 
excess tank destroyer, field artillery, and coast artillery officers were detailed and 
retrained as infantry officers. 63 By the end of the year the Infantry School had 
enrolled officers of all ground arms in its Special Basic Course in the following 
numbers : 64 

Antiaircraft Artillery 


Coast Artillery 


Tank Destroyer 


Field Artillery 


Armored Force 






Volunteers (all branches) 




The Special Basic Course at the Armored School was discontinued after one 
class because of a prospective surplus of armored officers. The Field Artillery 
School Conversion Course ran through the year, although on a small scale. By 
January 1945 this course too was slated for suspension in view of the pressing 
need of the Infantry for available surplus officers. 65 The Infantry School course 
remained throughout 1944 the principal vehicle for conversion and branch 
reapportionment of officers, even though the conversion rate at the Infantry 
School was reduced after July, owing to the decline in the available surplus and 
to an increase in the Infantry officer candidate program. 66 

CAC AA Offs to Inf and Armd Comd. 352.11/501. (2) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 21 Feb 44, sub: Establishment 
of Special Basic Course at FA Sch. 352.11/4 (FA Sch). 

** (1) AGF ltr (S) to CG R&SC, 8 Apr 44, sub: Continuation of Program to Convert Surplus Lieutenants 
to Inf. 352/922 (Inf Sch). (2) Statement of Lt Col W. S. Renshaw, AGF G-i Sec, Control Div, to AGF Hist 
Off, 25 Apr 45. 

M See Table fr?o. 4 | in the preceding study, "The Procurement of Officers." 

AGF 2d ind, 30 Jan 45, on FA Sch ltr to CG R&SC, 26 Dec 44, sub: Offs Spec Basic Course. 352.11/53 
(FA Sch). 

M (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA, 19 Jul 44, sub: Conversion of Offs to Inf. (2) AGF M/S, G-i to 
CofS, 17 Jul 44, sub as in (1). Both in 352/124 (S). 



By the end of 1944 the AGF schools, after a year of slump and general over- 
hauling, had returned to the pattern of 1943. Basic training for officers continued 
to be given, but now in special basic courses designed for convertees, which had 
replaced the regular basic courses designed for Reserve and National Guard 
officers. Advanced officers schooling continued: shorter refresher courses, with 
primary emphasis on tactics, replaced regular advanced courses. Specialists train- 
ing for both officers and enlisted men was still given ; the courses, however, were 
smaller, and the subjects somewhat altered by obsolescence and innovations in 
equipment. Some officer candidate courses were still in operation. A major change 
was in the shift of emphasis among branches: schools of the more active and 
populous arms — Infantry, Field Artillery, and Armored — retained fairly full 
programs; programs of the other schools had been curtailed more or less severely. 

In the last year of the war the Army Ground Forces gave the Replacement 
and School Command a broader administrative control over the schools than 
had previously been delegated. In the execution of certain functions related to 
doctrine and broad policy questions, the schools had been authorized from the 
beginning to carry on direct communication with AGF headquarters. Because 
it was difficult to draw the boundary line of such functions the schools had often 
taken directly to AGF headquarters matters which the Replacement and School 
Command felt to be within its province. Considering that this made its adminis- 
tration and control of the schools difficult, the Replacement and School Command 
had repeatedly protested. In early 1945, when Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell became 
Commanding General of the Army Ground Forces, he announced that the 
Replacement and School Command was considered to be in full charge of the 
schools. The policy of requiring all correspondence with schools to be processed 
through the Replacement and School Command was not, however, officially 
implemented until Gen. Jacob L. Devers assumed command of the Army 
Ground Forces. 67 

The instructional pattern which the schools had acquired by the end of 1944 
was retained with relatively little modification until the end of active hostilities. 
Between January 1945 and V-E Day, the new courses opened were principally 
refresher courses for officers and specialist courses for both officers and enlisted 
men in types of equipment in which innovations were frequent, such as radar. 
After the conclusion of active hostilities in Europe, the schools began revising 
their programs to provide for the redeployment training directed by Section VII 

" Interview of RJtSC Hist Off with Brig Gen J. W. Curtis, CofS RiSC, 4 Dec 45. 



of AGF Training Memorandum No. 1, published 1 June 1945. This section 
instructed the schools to continue training under current mobilization training 
programs but to adapt them, wherever practicable, to combat against the Jap- 
anese. It specified a number of subjects in current instruction that should be 
stressed. Topics particularly pertinent to the war in the Far East included 
Japanese tactics and techniques, identification of Japanese weapons, materiel, 
uniforms, and insignia, and effective means of employing American weapons 
against the Japanese. It was possible to achieve these emphases in instruction 
within the framework of existing curricula, but special directives on the details of 
implementation were needed and were in process of preparation in the schools 
throughout the summer of 1945. To a degree the adaptation of the programs to 
warfare against the Japanese was effected in this period by means of changes in 
training aids, such as conversion of sand tables to Japanese landscapes. 

During the summer of 1945 the service schools were also concerned with 
planning for the redeployment training of officers who would be returned from 
the European Theater. It had been hoped to use the refresher courses for this 
purpose but it was later realized that their length would prevent this adaptation. 
Instead it was decided to institute so-called "short courses," and on 15 May Army 
Ground Forces directed the Replacement and School Command to prepare these 
courses. On the day before V-J Day a number of these courses were started in the 
Field Artillery, Infantry, and Tank Destroyer Schools. (See Tables Nos.[6][7]and 

During the spring and summer of 1945 the Replacement and School Com- 
mand was less concerned with innovations in the curriculum of the schools than 
with the problem of keeping instruction up to the desired pitch of realism. Its 
inspectors reported slackness in this regard, in part attributable to the withdrawal 
of experienced officers and their replacement by instructors of lower quality. 
Various corrective measures were taken, one of which was to encourage the 
schools to send key officers to observe instructional methods at the replacement 
training centers, then at a high peak of efficiency in realistic training. 

It was in the decline of output and in the reorientation of the mission which 
the schools were performing that the year 1945 brought the greatest changes 
from the pattern characteristic of their earlier war history. In 1945 the average 
monthly output of the Infantry School, for example, was 1,846, as compared 
with 2,759 m IQ 44 an d 3) I 9 I in 1943- The year 1945 brought accentuation of the 
trend which, as noted above, began in 1944: the shift from the provision of a 
large volume of leaders and specialists required by a rapidly growing Army to 



emphasis upon more qualitative improvements in specialist training. With nearly 
all units of the ground arms deployed overseas by the end of 1944, only a small 
proportion of the output of the schools was sent to units in the Zone of Interior. 
Even though operating on a reduced level, the schools supplied trained specialists 
sent directly to overseas units and also provided instructors to maintain the level 
of teaching proficiency in AGF replacement and school training installations in 
the United States. The chief use to which it had been planned to put the schools — 
the expansion of training during redeployment of the Army against Japan — did 
not materialize because the war against Japan ended too quickly for the units 
returned from Europe to receive further training. 

III. The Schools in Operation 

Although it was common to distinguish between general and technical 
(specialist) courses, all service school courses — even the general advanced or 
command courses for officers and the officer candidate courses — were essentially 
technical. Officers courses were not differentiated by the abilities fostered but 
by the kind of object to which the technique was to be applied. Broadly speaking, 
the general courses and the command and officer candidate courses taught the 
technique of managing men in units ; the specialist courses taught the technique 
of handling equipment. Procedures for using materiel figured in the general 
courses, but primarily as a necessary foundation for the management of men. 
The technique of handling men was introduced into specialist courses, but 
largely as a byproduct ; officers who attended specialist courses were assumed to 
possess ability in handling men, but enlisted students were to be merely operators. 

Although all school instruction was concerned fundamentally with tech- 
nique^ — with the right execution of the functions the student was preparing to 
undertake — important differences in school courses arose from the varying 
degrees to which the functions in prospect could be anticipated. Functions that 
were the objects of instruction in the general courses (Officer Candidate, Officers 
Basic, Advanced, Special Basic, and Refresher) could not be particularized as 
neatly as those to which specialist instruction was directed. The question "What 
should a battery commander or regimental S-2 know and be able to do?" per- 
mitted a greater diversity of answers than the question "What should a communi- 
cation officer or radio repairman know and be able to do ?" The specialist, by and 
large, was concerned with a particular machine or group of machines: the Mio 
director, the recording odograph, the motor vehicles used in the infantry regi- 
ment, the M5A1 tank, the SCR 584, and so forth. Technicians were trained, not 
to repair radios, but to repair the particular radios used in particular units. So 
far as possible, the aim in the planning of specialist courses was to eliminate all 
material not having direct pertinence to the particular skills it was desired to 

With the general courses, exclusively for officers, the opposite was true. 
Officer candidate schools trained platoon leaders, not rifle platoon leaders or 
antitank platoon leaders or motor platoon leaders. Advanced courses were even 



less specialized; graduates of an advanced course, to name but a few of the 
possibilities, might be company commanders, battalion commanders, or regi- 
mental S-3's. Planners of the general courses had to avoid committing the pro- 
gram to any more specific direction than that implied by the general level of 
command for which its graduates were intended. 

The effects of this difference between the functions for which the two types 
of courses prepared were noticeable in the determination of the curriculum, in 
the sequence of instruction, and in its effectiveness. 

The training of specialists was dictated by the nature of the machine. The 
machine — a weapon, vehicle, radar set, or gun director — had a determinate 
function, a single mode of operation, a finite number of parts arranged in a 
definite order, and a correct mode of employment. The content of a course of 
instruction in its operation or maintenance could be deduced directly from an 
analysis of the machine and its work. Determination of the content of the course 
to train infantry company officers was far less direct. Since the objects of a com- 
pany officer's actions were many — men, weapons, paperwork, mess halls, vehicles, 
health, to name but a few — and since they were not bound together by any single 
organizing principle, as were the parts of a machine, a general course had 
inevitably a more miscellaneous content. 

Because the material in a typical specialist course was selected with reference 
to a highly specific objective, it could be arranged in a more coherent order than 
could the miscellany of a general course. A motor course for enlisted infantry 
specialists affords an example. The objective of the course was to train specialists 
to perform first- and second-echelon maintenance on the wheeled vehicles of the 
infantry regiment under field conditions. The sequence of instruction was four 
weeks of study and work on engines, three weeks on the chassis, and five weeks 
on field driving, inspections, and maintenance, during which the skills acquired 
in the first seven weeks were refined, applied, and tested under field conditions. 1 
Each item in the course, essential in itself, occupied a position clearly dictated by 
its dependence on material previously presented or the dependence on it of 
material to be introduced subsequently. Pedagogy here was largely supplanted 
by physics. 

The variety of subjects included in a general course presented a problem of 
order inherently more difficult. Within the major subdivisions of a course, as in 
weapons, tactics, materiel, or communications, the problem of order was fairly 
easy to handle; each of the subdivisions was a specialist course in brief. In a 

1 Program of Instruction, Enlisted Motor Course, Inf Sch, 10 Jan 45. AGF G-3 Schs Br files. 



subcourse in tactics, organization logically preceded tactical employment, prob- 
lems in small-unit tactics preceded those involving larger units, problems con- 
fined to one arm preceded those in combined arms. But even within a subcourse 
there could not be the smooth unfolding of subject matter possible in a more 
restricted field. Instruction in tactics in the Officer Refresher Course at the 
Infantry School, for example, included the following diversity of topics: 2 

Organization of Infantry Staff Functions 

Combat Orders Map Maneuvers 

Motorized Detachment on a Defense of Rear Areas 

Estimate of the Situation 

Although the bulk of the time was spent on Offensive and Defensive Combat, 
topics which could be arranged in an orderly manner, the integration of the 
remaining topics was a problem. 

In training men for work they were to do, the specialist courses were gen- 
erally more effective than the general courses. Members of specialist classes were 
more homogeneous in experience, ability, and probable assignment after gradua- 
tion than members of general courses. The immediately usable proportion of the 
content of a specialist course was greater than that of a general course, since — 
provided assignments were properly made — all graduates of a specialist course 
performed the same work while graduates of a general course might do a dozen 
different jobs. Motivation for specialist training was stronger because of the 
greater clarity of objectives and the more obvious pertinence of the material to 
the student. More realistic practical work was possible: a tank mechanic could 
be put to work repairing tanks; a battalion commander could scarcely be given 
a battalion of troops to lead. The specialist subjects, by and large, were easier to 
teach. Equipment was its own best teacher. Intervention of the instructor between 
the student and his work was less frequent, less prolonged, and — since perform- 
ance was always available as a check — less important than in courses where the 
instructor had to act as umpire. Specialist training, on the whole, was also easier 
for the student to grasp. Manual dexterity for qualified students — and all special- 
ist students had to possess certain minimum qualifications — is easier to develop 

1 Program of Instruction, Offs Refresher Course, Inf Sch, 10 Jan 45. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 

Zone Reconnaissance 
Protection of a Motorized 

Operation and Situation Maps 


Combat Intelligence 

Associated Arms 
Offensive Combat 
Defensive Combat 
Field Engineering 



than the understanding of general principles and procedures and the ability to 
apply them. Work done or seen by the specialist student was identical with the 
work he would do after graduation. Problems solved by or demonstrated for 
students in general courses stood in no such relation to subsequent problems. 
They were merely archetypes from which it was hoped the student would absorb 
generally useful principles. Abstraction, and skill in adjusting to similar but by 
no means identical cases, were required. On-the-spot check of the student's ability 
could not, in the nature of the case, be as valid when the test case was merely 
similar to future cases as it could be when the test case was identical with them. 

Conduct of Training 

Classes at the service schools were generally small, though their size varied 
considerably among schools and within schools. In July 1943 the average sizes 
of officer and enlisted classes in the AGF schools were as follows : 

School Officers Enlisted 

Classes Classes 

Antiaircraft Artillery 103 81 

Armored 104 78 

Cavalry 46 29 

Coast Artillery 36 36 

Field Artillery 41 52 

Infantry 132 150 

Tank Destroyer 61 87 

Specialist classes, because they required more supervision over practical 
work and because the amount of equipment available for student use was limited, 
were smaller, on the whole, than classes in general courses. The size of officers 
advanced classes at the Antiaircraft Artillery School was 350; of officers stereo- 
scopic height-finder classes, 12. At the Armored School, 320 enlisted radio opera- 
tors were trained per class, while 4 men made up an enlisted machinist class. 
Large classes were handled in either of two ways. In most schools each class was 
split up into a number of small sections of from 25 to 35 men each. The section 
was the unit for instruction, except for the infrequent special lectures and demon- 
strations, for which the entire class was brought together. This arrangement was 
dictated in some cases, as at Fort Sill, by the small size of the classrooms available. 
It ensured relatively close contact between instructor and student, but it required 



a sizeable group of instructors and more supervision to ensure uniform instruc- 
tion. The other way of handling large classes was to teach them as units. At the 
Infantry School the normal size of candidate, basic, and advanced classes was 200. 
All lectures, demonstrations, and practical work periods, and all classrooms and 
problem areas, were arranged for groups of this size. For field work the class 
was normally broken down into four platoons of 50 men each, with an officer 
instructor in charge. Considerable saving of instructors was effected. In a school 
as large as the Infantry School the demands of a small-class scheme for class- 
rooms, equipment, and personnel would have been prohibitive. Holding the 
attention and interest of 200 men in a large classroom was not easy. Such expedi- 
ents as public-address equipment, assistant instructors, and ample practical work 
reduced the chances of failure. 

Instruction was conducted by means of conferences, demonstrations, and 
practical work. Officially, no lectures were given at service schools ; programs of 
instruction announced conferences, not lectures. A strong prejudice against 
lectures was noticeable. They were regarded as largely a waste of time, producing 
no sure results and deferring or curtailing really beneficial practical work. This 
attitude was doubtless in part defensive. Lecturing was a difficult art, not to be 
acquired in a quick course in the technique of instruction. It was easier to decry 
lecturing than to improve it. In part, also, the attitude sprang from a determina- 
tion to limit the pronounced tendency of many instructors to talk interminably, 
and from a desire to maximize, in short courses, the amount of practice a student 
could be given. No amount of listening to lectures on how to fire a rifle would 
enable a man to fire it skillfully. But lectures were not avoided, they were merely 
disguised. They appeared as conferences. A conference — according to official 
training doctrine — was a directed discussion, with the students taking the initia- 
tive and the instructor confining himself to the modest role of moderator. Con- 
ferences required three conditions rarely present in service school courses: 
experience and adroitness in the instructor; experience and aggressive interest 
in the students ; and ample time. Ability to stimulate thinking, to arouse ques- 
tions, to encourage shy or backward students, to keep free discussion flowing 
surely toward an objective, and to deal spontaneously with an unpredictable 
range of questions and problems — these required on the part of the instructor 
much practice, a warm personality, great self-restraint, and a very detailed knowl- 
edge of his subject. Like most students, those at service schools were reluctant 
to ask questions or to offer independent views, preferring rather to be fed than 
to feed themselves. And time was the most precious commodity used at the 


schools. Conferences could not be rushed without losing much of their value; 
the flow of information per minute in a conference was small — a lecturer could 
cover twice the ground in half the time. Conferences therefore tended to become 
lectures. The chief tribute paid to the doctrine of conferences consisted of ques- 
tions asked by the instructor. These served to keep students awake (no small 
problem on a summer afternoon in Georgia or Texas), to maintain interest, and 
to inform the instructor of the readiness of students to proceed to more advanced 

The lectures were kept as brief as possible, although 2- or even 3-hour lectures 
were not uncommon in the larger schools, where one instructor had to do the 
work of ten. Wherever possible they were preceded and followed by demonstra- 
tions and sessions of practical work. In a typical arrangement for teaching marks- 
manship, the class would be assembled to hear a 10-minute talk on the prone 
position, daring which the position would be demonstrated fully; then the class 
would practice for twenty minutes. This would be followed by a lecture and a 
demonstration of the kneeling position, after which the class would practice it. 
Rapid alternation of short periods of different types of instruction provided 
variety, sustained interest, and enabled students to put knowledge to use before 
it had been forgotten or submerged. 

Lectures were profusely illustrated. Charts, blackboards, models, and actual 
items of equipment were used to minimize the uncertainty of reliance on hearing 
and thought. Students had been conditioned through movies, comic strips, 
advertisements, and illustrated magazines to depend heavily on pictures for 
intelligibility. Most students at service schools were without recent educational 
experience, and only a minority were skilled in listening and in extracting mean- 
ing from what they heard. It was a stock military judgment that "one picture is 
worth 10,000 words." Charts and kindred visual aids were a great help to the 
instructor. He was relieved to some extent of the necessity for lucid speech by 
the availability of a picture or object to which he could point. He could use the 
chart or model as notes for his talk, taking his cues from the aspects of the visual 
aid. The topics of most school lectures lent themselves to some form of visual 
representation, since lecture subjects were rarely abstract. Such topics as types of 
electrical circuits, channels of communication, characteristics of weapons, eche- 
lons of command, routes of deployment, formations for patrols, and nomencla- 
ture of equipment predominated. Instructors tended, when no objective 
representation could be found, to prepare charts that gave a verbal condensation 



of the main points of the presentation. In teaching target designation, for 
example, a chart might be shown that read : 



The instructor would display the chart during his talk, pointing to the proper 
word when he came to discuss the point it stood for. If the student derived noth- 
ing else from the period, he would remember — he would certainly have in his 
notes — the words on the chart. When the instructor wanted to discuss several 
topics in sequence and to keep his class with him at every step, he could "strip- 
tease" a chart — fasten strips of paper over each line and remove each when the 
proper time came. The weakness of word charts as compared to charts represent- 
ing objects or relations or processes, or to the objects themselves, was that words 
on the chart were so meager a proportion of what the student was supposed to 
learn. When a student was shown a diagram of the recoil mechanism of the 
Browning automatic rifle, the content of the diagram was almost exactly the 
content it was hoped the student would absorb from the instruction. When he 
was shown a word chart, he was all too likely to memorize the words and forget 
the context in which they stood, the relations and processes they symbolized. 

Service school demonstrations were abundant, carefully planned and staged, 
and, usually, perfectly executed. Each department had regularly assigned to it a 
number of enlisted assistants who performed the smaller demonstrations. Many 
of these men were Regular Army soldiers of much experience who often knew 
far more about their subject than the instructors did. Running through the same 
demonstrations day after day for months, even years, they developed great skill. 
They were able to demonstrate at any rate of speed, always with precision, snap, 
and accuracy, and could be counted on to deliver on the claims the instructor 
made for his weapon or instrument. They made any operation look easy, and they 
provided students with an indispensable requirement of rapid learning — a 
finished model to imitate. 

Larger-scale demonstrations were executed by troop units assigned to the 
school. Demonstrations illustrating tactical principles, troop-leading procedures, 
message-center organization, river-crossing techniques, march organization, and 
artillery firing required large numbers of men. To each school were assigned 
regular tactical units whose primary duty was to furnish details to assist the 



faculty in presentation of instruction. Units or their component teams sometimes 
functioned as such; sometimes individuals from the units served as assistant 
instructors and individual demonstrators. The magnitude of school operations 
can be gauged from the number of troops on such school duty. In July and 
August 1944, when the War Department Manpower Board surveyed the schools, 
the strength of demonstration and other special units assigned to AGF schools 
was 35,699, nearly 11,000 of whom were at the Field Artillery School and 9,000 at 
the Infantry School. 3 Tactical units were not detailed permanently to schools but 
were rotated regularly, using the time available between school assignments to 
train for combat. 4 Late in 1944 troop units were replaced at schools by detach- 
ments made up of limited-assignment personnel. 5 This step was taken to save 
men — the detachments being considerably smaller than the units they replaced 
— and to make available for combat the maximum number of tactical units. The 
change had in addition the good effect of clarifying the mission of school troops. 
Not always without conflict, units had served two masters — the demands of the 
school for assistance and the demands of impending combat training. School 
detachments had no independent status, existed exclusively for the school, and 
had no other duty than to serve it. 6 

Practical work by students occupied much of the time in every school course, 
the actual proportion ranging from 50 to 80 percent. Heavy emphasis on practical 
work sprang from the conviction that theoretical understanding could be reached 
only after much experience and training, and from the corollary conviction that 
the proper function of schools was to graduate men immediately capable of skill- 
ful performance. Practical work took many forms. The simplest was that around 
which most specialist courses were built — performance of the duties for which 
men were being trained. Motor mechanics disassembled and assembled engines, 
located troubles, and replaced defective parts ; radio operators sent and received 
code and voice messages. Specialists normally worked in small groups under 

"Exhibit B of "Summary of WDMB Surveys of AGF Schools," atchd to WD memo for CG AGF, 27 Oct 
44, sub: Pers Allotments for ZI Establishments of the AGF. 320.2/7035. 

* (1) AGF ltr (C) to CG R&SC, 8 Jan 43, sub: Sch Trs. With related M/Ss and ltrs. (2) AGF M/S 
(C), CG to G-3, 29 Dec 42, sub: Sch Trs. With later M/Ss. 320.2/10 (TB 1943XC). 

" AGF ltr (R) to CG R&SC, 24 Jan 45, sub: Repl of T/O Sch Trs by an Allotment of Pers on Tables 
of Distribution at Inf Sch, Ft Benning, Ga. 320.2/59 (R&SC)(R). See same file for similar letters to all 
other schools. 

"Statements of Col P. H. Kron, Sec Inf Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 7 Mar 45; of Col H. J. McChrystal, CO 
Sch Det, TDS, 14 Mar 45; of Col A. S. Johnson, Chief OD&T Sec, Armd Ctr, 22 Mar 45; and Lt Col C. J. Hay, 
Dir of Tng, Cav Sch, 24 Mar 45. 



close supervision by the instructor and his assistants. A typical organization for 
practical work would include several groups of four students and one enlisted 
instructor. Each group might be found around a tank engine; the students, after 
listening to a discussion of the work they were to do, solved problems set by the 
assistant. Other forms of individual practical work included paper problems, in 
which, for example, students might be required to enter data correctly on a 
morning report form; map exercises, in which tactical plans were drawn up, 
orders were formulated, or routes of advance for ammunition and supplies were 
selected ; terrain exercises ; and terrain walks and rides. Group practical work was 
common even though group organizations in school courses were temporary. 
The class might be divided into gun crews for firing, with members rotating 
duties during the period ; several regimental and battalion staffs might be formed 
for a map maneuver, with each student playing the part of a commander or staff 
officer; the class might be organized as one or more tactical units, with students 
taking all roles in a field exercise from private to commander. In general, prac- 
tical work done individually or in small groups was the most beneficial, because 
supervision was closer and because all students received equivalent instruction. 
When practice groups became too large some students were inevitably slighted : 
an officer in an advanced course who, as a private in a tactical problem, had to 
lug the base plate of a mortar doubtless learned something about the feelings of 
mortar crewmen but little about how to command a heavy weapons company. 
But through rotation of duties each student had several opportunities to fill all 
positions, getting experience which was rounded in general even if limited in 
particular assignments. 


Tests were an important part of the school program. They were relied upon 
not only to determine success or failure but also to indicate weaknesses in the 
instruction and to aid in reviewing and consolidating materials for the student. 
In a typical course such as the Officers Advanced at the Field Artillery School, 21 
of the 576 hours of instruction were given to examinations on 11 subjects. 7 Tests 
were given on every major subject and on as many minor subjects as their 
importance and the time available would justify. 

Tests of all types were used. In general courses written tests were most com- 
mon, while in specialist courses performance tests in which the student executed 
an assigned piece of work were more often used. There were several reasons 

* Program of Instruction, Offs Advanced Course, FA Sch, 1 1 Nov 44. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 


for this difference. One was the smaller size of the specialist classes, which per- 
mitted performance tests, usually more time-consuming than written tests, to be 
completed in a shorter total time. Another was the relative abundance of equip- 
ment and facilities for smaller specialist groups. Again, it was easier to devise test 
performances for men being trained for a highly specific job, such as radio 
repair. To compensate for the absence of actual performance most schools, in the 
testing program of general courses, devised schemes for assessing the student's 
practical work during regular instruction, determining his grade in the course 
partly from his test score and partly from his work record. 

Although written tests both of essay and objective or short-answer types were 
used, essay examinations were held to a minimum, because they required much 
time to score and because scoring was too unreliable where success or failure in a 
course was involved. Essay tests found their widest use in tactical subjects, which 
were the most difficult to reduce to black-and-white alternatives. 

In one institution, the Infantry School, the volume of test scoring was so 
great that electrical scoring machines were introduced and tests adapted to the 
use of separate answer sheets. Great savings were thereby made in the time of 
instructors, and increased amounts of training could be conducted by a smaller 
corps of teachers. 

Although in early 1942 it had been intended to establish a uniform system 
of grading examinations in all AGF schools, this was never done; each school 
developed its own methods. 8 The grading system used in most schools involved 
weighting test grades, totaling them, and determining success or failure on the 
basis of an aggregate score. Each subject to be tested was assigned a weight factor, 
the sum of all weight factors equalling 100 or 1,000. The weight given a subject 
was generally proportionate to the number of hours allotted the subject in the 
course, and therefore indirectly proportionate to its relative importance. The 
student's raw or derived score on the test, multiplied by the weight factor, gave 
the numerical rating in the subject. The sum of all these was the aggregate score. 
Seventy was commonly set as the minimum aggregate score necessary for 
graduation. 9 

* (1) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 20 Mar 42, sub: Method of Grading at Serv Schs. (2) Memo of Lt Col L. L. 
Lemnitzer, ACofS Plans Div, for CofS AGF, 20 Apr 42, sub: Coordination of Policies within Schs and RTCs 
of the AGF. Both in 352/56. 

* (1) Statement of Maj E. R. Bryon, Adj Armd OCS, to AGF Hist Off, 22 Mar 45. (2) "Sub-Course and 
Subject Weights" (Armd OCS Class No. 70). 314.7 (AGF Hist). (3) "Academic Record, Field Artillery 
School — Officers' Communication Course; Officers' Motor Course." 314.7 (AGF Hist). (4) Statement of 
Lt Col D. F. Sellards, S-3 AAA Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 16 Mar 45. 



As a rule tests were listed in the program of instruction and announced a 
week in advance on the course schedule. Instruction "writs" or "pop quizzes" — 
short, informal tests covering a day's work or a small unit of material — were 
given to students without warning from time to time at some schools. Although 
they were scored, relatively little weight was attached to them in comparison 
with that given to formal scheduled examinations. The testing system employed 
at the Command and General Staff School, in which no tests were scheduled but 
certain regular problems were selected for grading after the students had com- 
pleted work on them, was not used in AGF schools. A single, limited exception 
was the Officers Refresher Course introduced in January 1945 at the Infantry 
School. In this course no tests were scheduled. For each class a different set of 
regular written exercises was selected for grading after the students had com- 
pleted them without forewarning that they were to be used as examinations. 
The chief disadvantage of this scheme was the difficulty of finding regular 
instruction problems broad enough to represent the content of an entire subject. 
Advantages were heightened alertness and seriousness among students during 
all instruction, and greater likelihood of discovering the student's permanent 
gain as distinguished from what he had crammed into his head for test purposes 
only. 10 

The purpose to which tests were put complicated the testing program. Tests 
were designed both as a measure of the student's achievement and as a means of 
instruction. To have instructional value the tests had to be returned to the students 
or correct answers had to be read in class or posted on the company bulletin 
board. In all schools to some extent, but especially in the Infantry and Field 
Artillery Schools, where many classes were in session simultaneously and were 
examined in each subject on successive days, publication of test and answers to 
one class meant that succeeding classes had ready access to the information. For 
measuring achievement, a test once given and published diminished rapidly in 
value. A sizable group of different tests on each subject had to be prepared and 
administered in turn to successive classes so that "G-2-ing," even if not elimi- 
nated, would be less reliable. The use of several tests on the same body of material 
for different classes, all judged according to the same criteria, raised the question 
of standardization. Until a number of classes had been subjected to a new test, 
it was hard to be sure that the test maintained the same standard as those in 
current use. Comparable tests were standardized largely by estimation; only the 

" Statement of Col P. H. Kron, Sec Inf Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 7 Mar 45. 



Armored School had a regularly organized test section equipped for the statistical 
work needed to standardize tests on a sounder basis. 

Except at the Armored School, testing programs were highly decentralized. 
The chief of each department was allotted time for testing in his subject. The 
departments set their own standards, wrote and revised their own examinations, 
established their own grading systems, and reported student grades to the school 
secretary. Standards, tests, and grading systems were governed by broad school 
policies and checked by the director of training or the assistant commandant. 
But, except at the Armored School, no central agency was set up to review all 
tests, to establish common scoring procedures, and to lend the statistical assistance 
necessary in a coordinated program. In view of the fact that the use to which test 
scores were put assumed them to be comparable, the absence of central control 
was a major weakness. The test section at the Armored School, staffed with 
personnel experienced in testing, did not originate test materials. That function 
remained with the departments. But it gave advice on the construction of test 
questions and problems, reviewed tests for ambiguity, comprehensiveness, and 
difficulty, compared tests submitted by different departments for relative diffi- 
culty, maintained statistics on the basis of which revisions could be made, and 
calculated standard test scores. 11 

Faculty Organization 

School faculties were organized in groups according to subject matter. 
Variously called departments, committees, and sections, these groups were 
normally responsible for all instruction given in the school in their subject. 
Instructional groups corresponded to the major subjects taught in the school. 
The faculty of the Infantry School consisted of five sections: Weapons, Tactics, 
General Subjects, Automotive, and Communications. At the Field Artillery 
School there were departments of Gunnery, Materiel, Motors, Communications, 
Combined Arms, Observation, and Air Training. The faculty as a whole was 
under the direct supervision of an assistant commandant charged with respon- 
sibility to the school commandant for all matters pertaining directly to instruc- 
tion. The administrative and supervisory staff of the assistant commandant 
varied among the schools. Each had a secretary who maintained academic 
records ; some had executives, and some directors of training, inspectors of train- 

a Statements of Lt Col G. E. Holloway, Classification Off, Inf Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 8 Mar 45, and of 
Maj S. C. Carpenter, Dir, Instructor Tng Dept, Armd Sch, 21 Mar 45. 


ing, and coordinators of training. The internal organization of faculty depart- 
ments varied also, two systems predominating. In some schools departments 
were divided, still in terms of subject matter, into subgroups. Thus the 
Department of Tactics at the Cavalry School was comprised of four sections — 
Reconnaissance; Organization, Command, Staff, and Logistics; Pioneer and 
Map Reading; and Associated Arms and Services. Such subgroups, if the subject 
matter was complex, might be split still further. The General Committee of the 
General Section at the Infantry School, for example, was made up of three groups 
— Training Management, Administration, and Leadership. The fractioning 
process rarely went beyond this point. An instructor in such a department taught 
only the subjects falling within the sphere of the smallest subgroup to which he 
was assigned. In the General Committee an instructor taught administration or 
training or leadership, but not more than one of these. Although their range was 
limited their coverage was broad : these small subgroups taught their subject to 
all types of classes — officers, enlisted, and candidate. This plan of intra-depart- 
mental organization had the merit — in one view — of intense specialization. Each 
instructor was responsible for a very limited field, which he could master more 
rapidly than a broader one. When school staffs were relatively inexperienced and 
subject to regular rotation, this was an undeniable advantage. Some relief from 
the monotony of the instructor's life came from contact with different types of 
classes. Considerable flexibility was possible in the use of instructors since they 
were practiced in presenting their material in different packages to different 
audiences. One marked disadvantage was a loss of continuity. Extreme compart- 
mentalization entailed committing students to a succession of instructor groups 
as they progressed through a major subject. Unless liaison between groups was 
regular and detailed, the students were likely to finish without a clear notion of 
the direction and purpose of the course and of the relation of its parts. 

The Field Artillery School, instead of using distinctions of subject matter 
to form subordinate instructor groups, grouped instructors within departments 
according to the courses in which their students were enrolled. Gunnery appeared 
in the program of many school courses. Gunnery training was given to officer 
candidates and battery executives, also to officers in Advanced, Refresher, and 
Special Basic Courses, to name but a few. In the Department of Gunnery, there- 
fore, one group of instructors taught the subject to candidate classes, another 
group to battery executive classes. For each major course in which gunnery 
training figured, a separate group of instructors was set up in the department. 
Each course group was further subdivided into class teams, the aim being to 



give each class the same instructors for all their work in the subject. Under this 
arrangement instructors were specialized in administering a given type of instruc- 
tion. An instructor did not face a class of enlisted men one day, a class of officer 
candidates the next, and a class of officers the next. On the other hand, the instruc- 
tors were less intensively specialized. Each one taught — this was at least the aim 
— most or all of the material in the entire department ; he was not confined to a 
narrow corner of a large field. Among the advantages of this organization were 
continuity and integration within a department through the continuous presence 
of the same instructors for a given class. Instructors could more easily judge the 
progress and difficulties of students since they saw them over a longer period of 
time; grading of practical work was more reliable; and there was greater 
variety in what they taught since there was no chance of giving the same lecture 
several days in succession. 12 

Aside from differences in detail, faculties in AGF schools were organized on 
the same principle. All training in a major subject given at a school was the 
responsibility of a single group of instructors under a single command. Instruc- 
tion in weapons at the Infantry School, whether given to officers, enlisted men, or 
officer candidates, was conducted by the Weapons Section. An alternative to the 
principle was tried at the Antiaircraft Artillery School and found completely 
impracticable. The principle adopted in the original organization of this school 
was to establish departments on the basis of students rather than of subjects. 
Three departments were set up — Officer, Enlisted, and Officer Candidate. Each 
department was subdivided into subject-matter sections. Since many subjects 
were common to courses for all three types of students, considerable duplication 
among departments was inevitable: all three had sections teaching map reading, 
communications, motor maintenance, gunnery, and so forth. A corollary to this 
wasteful duplication of effort, equipment, and facilities was lack of coordination 
among faculty groups teaching the same subjects. As there was little or no direct 
contact between departments, supervision and standardization had to trickle 
down from the highest levels. Doctrines and procedures taught by members of 
one department were contradicted or ignored by their opposite numbers in 
others. Officer and enlisted graduates of the school found, when they joined 
units, that they had little in common. After a year of such mutual confounding 
the school was reorganized and the normal functional division of faculty was 
instituted. 13 

" Statement of Lt Col Otto Kerner, Exec to Asst Comdt, FA Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 26 Mar 45. 
M AGF Historical Section, The Antiaircraft Command and Center, Chap. XII. 



A vestige of the earlier Antiaircraft Artillery School plan remained at certain 
schools. Most specialist courses consisted entirely of instruction within a single 
department. In some, programs included brief treatments of material for which 
other departments were normally responsible. Some map reading, usually taught 
by a tactics department, might be included in a communications course. Enlisted 
sound and flash rangers were given a brief orientation on fire direction. It was 
the practice in certain schools — notably the Field Artillery School — for the 
department conducting the bulk of instruction in a specialist course to give also 
the related work in the fields of other departments. Such excursions into related 
subjects were in any case brief and very elementary. Concentrating all instruction 
in the hands of a single department avoided frittering away the faculty strength 
of other departments. All material could be presented from the point of view 
of the specialty. 14 

Scheduling of Instruction 

Instruction in AGF schools was scheduled under what was known as the 
"block system." Under this system each major subject occupied the student's 
entire time until it was completed, in contrast to the usual civilian practice of 
scheduling several subjects concurrently. In operation, all instruction given by a 
Weapons Department, for example, might be concentrated into a 6-week period, 
followed by a 3-week interval containing all the training offered by a Tactics 
Department. Within the block of time allotted to the Weapons Department, 
shorter blocks were scheduled for each weapon. At the end of each block an 
examination tested the student's command of the subject covered. There his 
responsibility for the material ended, as did also his opportunity to practice it, 
except incidentally as the subject figured in subsequent phases of the course. 

The widespread use of the block system testified to the marked advantage it 
brought to high-speed mass instruction. Many of these advantages were admin- 
istrative. The block system saved time and transportation by reducing the amount 
of ground a class had to cover during a day's instruction. Allotment of an 
unbroken series of periods to a single subject-matter committee promoted 
flexibility in revising or rearranging instruction given by the committee. Such 
rearrangements could be made without interfering with the schedules of other 
committees. The normally vexing question of which committee was to have 
claim to the student's study time was quickly resolved when only one subject 

" Statement of Lt Col Otto Kerner, Exec to Asst Comdt, FA Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 26 Mar 45. 



was taken up at a time. Most important, especially when personnel and facilities 
were critically short, were the economies made possible by the block system. 
Fewer instructors were needed. The schools were able to get along with less 
equipment and other training aids. The block system made it easy to turn back 
students to repeat that portion of the course in which they had been found 
deficient, whereas concurrent scheduling of several subjects would have forced 
the student to repeat during the same period a good deal of material he had 
already mastered. 

The block system also had educational advantages. For most students learn- 
ing was probably speeded by concentration on one subject at a time. Men who 
lacked recent educational experience — a category which included most students 
at service schools — were not forced to keep three or four subjects in mind at once, 
with attendant risk of confusion. The intensity of the application to each subject 
probably resulted in greater immediate proficiency. But on the educational side 
the block arrangement of subjects was also open to serious criticism. Precautions 
had to be taken to avoid monotony. Slow students were handicapped by the 
necessity of mastering a subject in a few days of concentrated work rather than 
in weeks or eve"K months of more leisurely application, as under the traditional 
organization of instruction. Special attention had to be given to the relation 
between subjects occurring early in the course and those given late. Since each 
major subject was taught by a different committee, continuity and integration 
could be obtained only with difficulty. Inasmuch as each subject was formally 
completed within the block of hours devoted to it, the student, immediately 
occupied with a new subject, was not likely to perceive the relationships between 
subjects. Furthermore, although the intensive treatment of each subject was 
undoubtedly productive of great immediate skill, it was likely that the lack of 
continuous practice and the regular piling-on of new subjects would outweigh 
the short-term benefits. Another problem raised by the block system was the 
handling of minor subjects. Every course contained, in addition to such large 
subcourses as weapons, tactics, motors, or communications, a miscellany of 
topics bearing no obvious relation to one another, each scheduled for but a few 
hours time, not enough to form a true "block." Among these were first aid, 
discipline, training management, administration, military law, and censorship. 
These subjects were a universal headache. Consisting mostly of indoor work, 
presented by lectures and paper problems, they were too varied to be allotted a 
collective block of hours. The alternative was either to sandwich them into the 
joints between major blocks or to concentrate them in a block allotted to one of 



the major subcourses. In the former case continuity was usually lost. When a 
few hours of first aid were spread over six or eight weeks, the instructor was 
forced to address his class with "Now you will recall last month when we dis- 
cussed fractures. ..." Much time and training were wasted in introductory 
reviews under this scheme. When, on the other hand, the miscellaneous general 
subjects were crowded for convenience into one of the major blocks, the sequence 
of instruction in the major subject was interrupted and the student might be 
confronted with such an anomaly as a lecture on mess management in the middle 
of a tactics course. 

Mitigating these disadvantages were the special conditions surrounding the 
wartime programs of the schools. Courses were short, so that the carry-over 
of material covered and dropped early in the course was not excessively long. 
Regular practice of all the techniques taught was somewhat less necessary in 
view of the immediate use to which they would be put upon completion of the 
course. Provided a good foundation of principle, fact, and fundamental habits 
had been laid, the renewed application of knowledge and skills would not be 
difficult. Monotony was offset on the one hand by the strong motivation with 
which most students approached the work, and on the other by the variety 
inherent in practical activity and field training, as distinguished from lectures 
and demonstrations. As for the slow learners, they could be turned back to repeat 
the course if they showed promise. If not, there was no obligation to slow up an 
entire class to keep them from falling by the wayside. 15 

Selection and Training of Instructors 

The efficiency of any training program depends in the last analysis on the 
quality of the instructors who administer it. On the whole, instruction at service 
schools was the best available in the Army Ground Forces. Instructors were care- 
fully selected and trained, a high degree of specialization was practiced, and 
facilities and equipment were abundantly, if not lavishly, provided. This is not to 
say either that instruction at the schools was perfect or that a high level of 
efficiency was consistently maintained. Actually the quality of instruction, after 
reaching its peak in 1942, declined steadily thereafter. 

" (1) Dr. James Grafton Rogers, civilian representative o£ Co£S USA, "Notes on the Fort Sill Artillery 
Officer Candidate School," 22 Oct 42. (2) R&SC 1st ind, 1 Dec 42, on AGF ltr, 18 Nov 42, sub: Visit of 
Dr. James Grafton Rogers to FA Sch. (3) FA Sch 2d ind, 1 Dec 42, on AGF ltr above. All in 095/41 (Rogers, 
J. G.). Statement of Lt Col Otto Kerner, Exec to Asst Comdt, FA Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 26 Mar 45. 



Problems of instruction were complicated by the rotation policy. Through- 
out the period of greatest expansion it was the policy of Army Ground Forces 
to restrict tours of duty at service schools to one year. Although the schools used 
a wide variety of arguments, pretexts, and dodges to alter the rule, delay its 
application, or minimize its force, the rule was not modified. Temporary excep- 
tions for key personnel were provided for in the policy, but otherwise the staffs 
of service schools underwent a regular turnover. 

The schools began operations in 1940 with a small corps of Regular Army 
officers, many of whom had taught at the schools in peacetime. They were largely 
responsible for getting the expanded program under way: organizing courses, 
preparing problems, devising tests, and training new instructors. In 1940 and 
1941 the augmentation of the teaching staffs came largely from Reserve officers 
called to active duty and recently graduated from school courses. Some had had 
no duty with troops. Others were drafted from the units that had sent them to 
school. It was this practice of raiding units for suitable instructors that prompted 
the Army Ground Forces, when it became responsible for the schools in March 
1942, to direct that an officer sent to school from a unit should return to his unit 
at the end of the course. The schools had to depend thereafter chiefly upon unas- 
signed officers as the source of additions and replacements for their staffs. The 
greatest source of unassigned officers was the officer candidate schools, from 
which during 1942 and 1943 the bulk of instructors at the AGF service schools 
were drawn. Since the schools had the candidates under prolonged scrutiny and 
were free of competition for their services from other agencies, they were able 
to select from graduating classes the new lieutenants best qualified as instructors. 
As the output of OCS courses fell in 1944, the candidate schools dwindled as a 
source of instructors, but they continued to supply limited numbers of junior 
instructors except at the Infantry School, where the assignment of candidates as 
instructors was prohibited in August 1944 because of the shortage of infantry 
lieutenants. 18 

Beginning in 1943 and continuing thereafter at a constantly accelerating 
pace, officers who were returned from overseas under the rotation policy or 
because of wounds, illness, or other reasons were assigned to teach at the schools. 
Such assignment was considered necessary because schools were among the 
principal users of overhead personnel, a category to which returnees were 
restricted for a minimum of six months. In addition, it was hoped that these 
assignments would infuse new life and realism into school instruction. Such 

M Statement of Maj W. Meyer, AGF G-i Sec, Inf Div, to AGF Hist Off, 27 Apr 45. 



instructors would document their teaching out of their own experience; their 
know-how would be available for other instructors to draw on; being keenly 
alive to the requirements of combat, they would help direct instruction into the 
most useful channels; the authority of experience would lend weight to the 
veteran's words; students would attend more closely and benefit in greater 
measure from the instruction. Some of these expectations were fulfilled. Many 
were not. It was the consensus of responsible school authorities early in 1945 that 
despite increasing numbers of combat veterans on their staffs the quality of 
instruction had declined noticeably in late 1943 and 1944. 

A number of factors contributed to this result. With the decline of candidate 
courses as the principal source of personnel, schools depended increasingly on 
sources outside their control. Combat returnees, the major source in 1944 and 
1945, were assigned to the schools — those of company grade by the Replacement 
and School Command, those of field grade by Headquarters, Army Ground 
Forces. Assignments by these two headquarters were limited by the qualifica- 
tions of arrivals from the theaters. Neither eligibility for rotation nor injury in 
combat was a guarantee of ability to teach. Among the officers available, the two 
headquarters had only qualification cards as guides. Despite great care, some 
officers were inevitably detailed whose paper promise surpassed their actual abili- 
ties. 17 The schools themselves simply took what was sent. Though they were per- 
mitted to report officers as unsuitable after a period of trial, it was not easy to 
testify that an officer was unsuitable for any assignment in the installation, and it 
was not unlikely that if he were given the boot his replacement would be still less 
qualified. The schools found it easier to struggle along with mediocre instructors 
than continually to requisition and train replacements for them. 

Among the early arrivals from overseas in 1943 the schools found few suit- 
able instructors. During this period, before the rotation policy began to operate 
generally and equitably, overseas commanders were prone to send incompetent 
officers home rather than to reclassify them. The better officers tended to remain 
in the theaters. After rotation became effective on a large scale, returnees were a 
much fairer cross section of officers as a whole. But the schools discovered that 
a greater number of potential instructors would not be found among a hundred 
combat veterans than among a hundred officers of any other category. Combat 
experience did not make a man a teacher. The power to convey information 
clearly, enthusiastically, and forcefully seemed to be unrelated to the qualities of 
a battle leader. 


So far as service school duty was concerned, some officers were even handi- 
capped by their combat background. The battle experience of most officers, 
while intense, had been restricted to a particular theater or portion of a theater, 
to specific units and specific duties within units. Their work as teachers tended 
to reflect these limitations. Schools had to stress techniques adapted to combat 
generally, and undue emphasis on one theater would handicap students who 
might be sent to another. It was necessary to encourage returnees to take a 
broader view. As one director of training said, "I got my instructors together 
and told them to quit fighting the Battle of Sicily in class." Some officers, hav- 
ing had occasion to "throw the book out the window" in combat, were inclined 
to offer students their private solutions for battle problems in lieu of the orthodox 
principles the schools had to teach. Close supervision was necessary to prevent 
sabotage of official doctrine. Some officers were not interested in teaching school. 
A few thought their work had been completed when they were returned from 

Those officers who had both combat experience and instructional ability 
were strong additions to the schools. In them, although they were not numerous, 
the expectation of greatly improved training was fulfilled. The only complaint 
of the schools was that there were not enough of them. 18 

Few instructors at service schools were professional teachers, and these 
generally had had little experience in handling demonstration crews, using 
elaborate training aids, or supervising practical work. All instructors needed 
indoctrination and training. Although it was a traditional point of view in the 
Army that an officer was by definition an instructor, this was found to be an 
impractical, not to say hazardous, assumption. All schools conducted some form 
of training for new instructors. The training took the form of relatively brief 
orientation courses on teaching technique, followed by supervised study and 
rehearsal in the committee to which the instructor was assigned. 

One of the earliest and certainly the most elaborate and carefully planned 
of these courses was the Instructor Training Course at the Armored School. The 
course, set up in February 1942 under civilians experienced in industrial educa- 
tion, was at first considered a conspicuous failure. Running for three months, 
meeting one hour each day, it was heavily theoretical; psychology, statistical pro- 

" Statements to AGF Hist Off of Brig Gen J. W. Curtis, CofS RStSC, 9 Jan 45; Col W. E. Shallene, G-3 
RitSC, 6 Jan 45; Cot P. H. Kron, Sec Inf Sch, 7 Mar 45; Lt Col G. E. Holloway, Classification Off, Inf Sch, 
8 Mar 45; Lt Col S. W. Luther, G-3 Schs Br, AA Comd, 17 Mar 45; Maj S. C. Carpenter, Dir, Instructor 
Tng Dept, Armd Sch, 21 Mar 45; Col A. S. Johnson, Chief ODStT Sec, Armd Ctr, 22 Mar 45; Col J. B. 
Thompson, Asst Comdt, Cav Sch, 24 Mar 45; and Lt Col C. J. Hay, Dir of Tng, Cav Sch, 25 Mar 45. 



cedure, job analysis, and kindred mysteries constituted the bulk of the fare. 
Instead of working within the framework of Army teaching procedure as set 
forth in FM 21-5, with which all the instructors had at least a speaking familiar- 
ity, those responsible for the course insisted upon the use of training techniques to 
which they had become professionally attached in civil life. Constant friction 
and resentment between the course staff and the instructors who were being 
trained largely nullified whatever value the course might have had. 

In March 1943 the program was completely revised. A Reserve officer who 
had been a teacher in civil life was appointed to direct the course, which was 
recast to conform to the needs of school instructors, not to an educational theory. 
Practice teaching was the heart of the new course, which ran four hours a day for 
two weeks. Each student was required to plan and present to the class a short 
lesson (ten minutes) and a long lesson (forty minutes), to evaluate and suggest 
improvements on the lessons taught by the seventeen other members of the 
class, to conduct a critique on two lessons presented by other students, and to 
plan a test on the content of the lessons he taught. All practice lessons were 
required to be typical of those the instructor would later conduct in the assigned 
department. This practical work occupied two-thirds of the time of the course or 
three-quarters in the enlisted instructor's course. The remainder was spent on 
conferences and a final examination. The conferences were designed to set forth 
standard military teaching procedures and to give directions on planning and 
presenting instruction at the school. The student's grade in the course was 
derived partly from the final written examination but chiefly from the quality 
of his performance in the practice lessons. Ratings on each instructor were sent 
to the assistant commandant. Any instructor rated merely "Satisfactory" was 
relieved from the school as soon as a replacement could be found. Those rated 
"Very Satisfactory" were put on probation in their departments. 

After completion of the Instructor Training Course, instructors at the 
Armored School were monitored from time to time by members of the course 
staff. The monitor — assigned to one department to acquire familiarity with its 
doctrine and problems — conferred with the instructor immediately after the 
class was over, giving a precise criticism of his performance. Later the monitor 
sent a detailed report to the instructor and to his department chief. In the early 
days of the course the monitoring system failed to accomplish its purpose because 
instructors regarded the course faculty as pedagogues, reformers, and spies. 
Diligent effort to be as helpful as possible and to deal openly and frankly with 



instructors enabled the course staff to make the monitoring a valued service. 19 
Other schools conducted comparable courses. Not all were as successful as 
the one at the Armored School became. At some schools the attendance of the 
new instructor was optional with the department chief. The benefits of stand- 
ardized teaching procedure were lost to some extent under this practice. Fre- 
quently instructors were not detailed to attend the course until after they had 
been teaching for some time. The value of courses explicitly designed for begin- 
ners was largely lost on such men. The proportion of time devoted to practice 
lessons was low in some courses, with the result that the instructor received too 
little of what he needed most — rehearsal under expert scrutiny. In few schools 
was the rating in the course given as much weight by the authorities as at the 
Armored School. Some courses, notably that at the Infantry School, were 
conducted by members of the faculty in addition to their regular duties in a 
department. Because of the double demand on their time, these officers could 
not plan or revise their courses carefully nor conduct them often enough to hold 
classes down to manageable size. 20 

Courses for instructors did not teach a subject matter. They dealt only with 
techniques. The new instructor learned his subject on the job with his depart- 
ment. The normal practice was to assign an instructor to a team that taught an 
integrated subcourse in the department — for example, antitank gunnery in a 
weapons department. He observed for a time to become aware of the layout of 
the course as a whole — its objective, sequence, contents, and methods in general. 
Next he was assigned a particular period of instruction to conduct, usually a 
fairly elementary period. He prepared himself by listening through the period 
as taught by one or more experienced instructors, by assisting in minor ways 
during instruction, by studying the outline or lesson plan for the period. When 
he thought he had mastered the material and could put it across clearly and con- 
vincingly, he went through a trial performance before his team chief, department 
head, and any other members of the hierarchy who happened to be responsible 
or available. In this trial effort he taught exactly as he meant to teach before his 
first class, using the regular training aids, demonstrations, questions, and practi- 
cal work. If the audience approved, he became eligible for the final test that 
would qualify him for the role of instructor. If they did not, he returned to his 

" Statements of Col A. S. Johnson, Chief OD&T Sec, Armd Ctr, to AGF Hist Off, 22 Mar 45, and Maj 
S. C. Carpenter, Dir, Instructor TngDept, Armd Sch, 21 Mar 45. 

10 Statements to AGF Hist Off of Lt Col Robert Franks, Dir, Instructors Tng Course, Inf Sch, 8 Mar 45; 
Lt Frank Gary, Instructors Course, AAA Sch, 16 Mar 45; Lt Col C. S. Hampton, Sec Cav Sch, 24 Mar 45; 
and Lt Col C. R. Yates, Dir, Technique of Instruction Course, FA Sch, 26 Mar 45. 



observations, his manuals, and his "poop sheets." Highly standardized teaching 
was ensured by this system; unprepared instructors were rare; class time was 
used to maximum advantage; instructors, if they were not all inspired, were at 
least competent. 

Supervision of instructors was constant and was carried on at all levels of 
command. The team chief supervised members of his team, the subcourse chief 
the instructors in his subject, the committee chairman the men under him, the 
department head all members of the department. At the top were the directors 
of training, inspectors or coordinators of training in some schools, the assistant 
commandant, and the commandant. The instructor did not lack critics to point 
out his mistakes. Supervision was more expert and useful on the lower levels 
where the critics had more time to give to each instructor and more detailed 
knowledge of the subject. Supervisors on the middle and upper levels — depart- 
ment heads, directors of training, assistant commandants — were the repositories 
of school standards and policies, the guardians against inefficiency, contradiction, 
loss of time, duplication, and major errors in doctrine. They were the key men 
in the organization. When they were lost through rotation, the continuity of 
instruction suffered greatly. 

Students are generally more or less vocal critics of the training they receive. 
Some of the schools put the critical disposition of students to use in the interest 
of improved instruction. At the Infantry School, for example, students in officers 
advanced and basic classes were asked to fill out, just before graduation, a ques- 
tionnaire on which they answered such queries as the following: "What subjects 
would you delete (add) (devote more/less time to) ?" "Is the course too easy 
(hard) ?" "What periods were outstandingly bad (good) ?" Students were 
encouraged to add comments on anything they thought pertinent. Although 
such questionnaires were for many students a medium for airing purely personal 
discontent, and although students could not judge accurately such questions as 
the best length for the course, much of value was gained from the questionnaires. 
The majority of students took them seriously, their comments on instruction 
were often searching, and they made many suggestions for improvement. As a 
supplement to other forms of supervision, student reports gave insight into the 
reactions of the ultimate consumer, often a valuable guide and corrective to an 
exclusively faculty view. 21 

" Statements of Lt Col G. E. Holloway, Classification Off, Inf Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 8 Mar 45, and of 
Maj W. B. Anderson, Sec TD Sch, 13 Mar 45. 



Total Output of AGF Service Schools, by Branch, 












































Sources: (l) R&SC 1st ind, 10 Sep 45, on AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 18 Aug 45, sub: Information 
on Output of AGF Service School Courses. (2) AAC 3d ind, 11 Sep 45, on AGF ltr to 
CG AAC, 1 8 Aug 4 5, sub: Information on Output of Courses at the Antiaircraft Artillery 
School. (3) Incl 2 to AGF 1st ind, 20 Aug 45, on TAG ltr AGOC-S-A 220.01 (29 May 
45), 12 Jul 45, sub: Description of the Curricula and Courses in the Army's Training 
Program for Use in Separation Classification and Counseling. All in 352.11 /526. 




Courses and Output at the Antiaircraft Artillery School, 1942-45 

Name of Course 

In Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing * 

Number of 





AA SC Tactics Special 

40-mm. Special 


90-mm. Special 

Automatic Weapon Airborne Ma- 
chine Gun 

Marine Automatic Weapon Special. 

Searchlight and Communication 

Automatic Weapons Special 

OQ2A Radio-Controlled Target 

Field and Staff Special 

Radar Course for Gun Cadre Officers 

Methods of Teaching Aircraft 

West Point 

Radio Detection 


US Navy 90-mm. Special 

US Navy Automatic Weapon Special 



Target Recognition 

Automotive (108th Group) Special. 

Weiss Sight Group No. 1 

Radar 545 

Radar 584 

Harvard MIT 

Air Officers 

Special Observers 

Advanced (Guns) 

Radar General (Fire Control) 

Advanced (General) 

Advanced (Searchlight) 

Advanced (Automatic Weapons) 

Radar Operational (Guns) 

Radar Operational (Searchlight) 




Automatic Weapons 








12 days 

10 days 

5 days 

10 days 

14 Mar 42 
1 3 Apr 42 

8Jun 42 
15Jun 42 

3 Aug 42 

6 Oct 42 

6 Oct 42 

13 Oct 42 
13 Oct 42 

28 Oct 42 
13 Nov 42 

4 Jan 43 

4 Jan 43 

1 Feb 43 
22 Feb 43 

2 Mar 43 

15 Mar 43 
15 Mar 43 

29 Mar 43 
1 May 43 

10 May 43 
24 May 43 
27 Aug 43 

30 Aug 43 
13 Sep 43 

13 Sep 43 

30 Nov 43 
— Dec 43 

3 Jan 44 
3 Jan 

21 Jan 

21 Jan 

31 Jan 

7 Feb 

14 Feb 
20 Mar 44 

1 5 Oct 44 

22 Oct 44 
30 Oct 44 


29 Jul 42 
31 Oct 42 

12 Mar 43 

— Jan 44 

27 May 43 

21 Oct 42 
21 Oct 42 

23 Apr 43 
7 May 43 

18 Mar 44 
7 May 43 

23 Apr 43 

24 Apr 43 
15 Aug 45 

28 Aug 43 
4 Aug 44 
9 Apr 43 
9 Apr 43 

31 Mar 45 
17 Mar 45 
3 1 Dec 43 

2 Jul 43 
17 Mar 44 
21 Nov 43 

4 Dec 43 
23jun 44 
15 Aug 45 

— Jan 44 
1(5 Sep 44 

15 Aug 45 

16 Sep 44 
16 Sep 44 

16 Sep 44 

13 Jan 45 

30 Dec 44 

3 1 Mar 44 

17 Mar 45 
15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 














Table No. 2 — Continued 

Name of Course 


Flak Analysis 




Special Gun Instruction Teams. 


Enlisted Men 

Fire Control 

Master Gunner 


Searchlight Electrician 

Radio Detection 


Radar Repairman 


Fire Control (Guns) 

Fire Control (Automatic Weapons) . 
Radio Detection (Guns) 

Radio Detection (Searchlights) 

OQ Radio-Controlled Atrial Target , 
Master Gunner (Automatic 


Master Gunner (Guns) 

Radio Repairman 

Radio Operator 

Basic Electricity 

Radar Repair (Guns) 

Radar Repair (Searchlights) 


AN/TPL-1 (Special) 


TOTAL Officers 
and Enlisted Men. 

In Weeks 




Date of 

2 Mar 44 
6 Nov 44 
29 Jan 45 
5 Mar 45 
5 Mar 45 

9 Feb 42 
9 Feb 42 
9 Feb 42 
9 Feb 42 
9 Mar 42 
9 Mar 42 
— Mar 42 
20 Apr 42 
13 Jul 42 
1 3 Jul 42 
10 Aug 42 

10 Aug 42 
2 Feb 44 

14 Jun 
14 Jun 

4 Oct 
18 Oct 
25 Oct 

3 Jan 

3 Jan 
20 Mar 44 
— Mar 45 


Date of 

14 Jul 45 

15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 
31 Mar 45 
31 Mar 45 

14 Sep 42 

— Jul 43 

15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 

14 Sep 42 

15 Aug 45 

— Sep 42 

14 Sep' 44 

15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 

3 Jan 44 

7 Feb 44 
17 Apr 44 

15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 
17 Jan 44 
21 Feb 44 
15 Aug 45 
15 Aug 45 
3 May 44 

— Jul 45 

TOTAL Graduates c 

Sources: See Table [No. lj 
' Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 
* No record of graduations. 
c Exclusive of officer candidates. 

Number of 




18,671 15,717 

TABLE NO. 3 311 
Courses and Output at the Armored School, 1940-45 

Name of Course 

In Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing * 

Number of 




Tank Maintenance 


Basic Tactics 

Special Division Cadre 

Advanced Tactics 

Company Officers 

Battalion Commanders 

USMA Graduates 

Advanced Tank 

Advanced Armored Infantry. . . 

Basic Gunnery 

Advanced Gunnery 

Special Basic (FA Conversion) . 

Armored Refresher 

Cavalry Officers Conversion 


Enlisted Men 

Tank Mechanics 


Radio Repairman 

Motorcycle Operators 

Motorcycle Mechanics 




Blacksmith & Welders 

Radiator & Sheet Metal 

Special Typing 


Radiator, Body, & Fender Repair. 

Airborne Tank 

Amphibious Vehicle Mechanics. . 
Armorer & Artillery Specialists. . 

Replacement Motor 

Replacement Communication 

Replacement Clerical 

Amphibious Communication 

Amphibious Radio Repairman. . . , 




Nov 40 
Nov 40 
Nov 40 
Feb 42 
Sep 42 
Apr 43 
Apr 43 
Jun 43 
Feb 44 
Feb 44 
Feb 44 
Mar 44 
Jan 45 
Mar 45 


31 Mar 45 
18 Aug 45 

7 Jul 45 
22 Apr 43 

5 Jun 43 
30 Nov 43 
12 Feb 44 

5 Feb 44 
30 Sep 44 

3 Mar 45 

2 Dec 44 
20 Jan 45 
30 Dec 44 
10 May 45 

7 Apr 45 

7 Apr 45 




4 Nov 40 
4 Nov 40 
4 Nov 40 
4 Nov 40 
4 Nov 40 
4 Nov 40 
4 Nov 40 

4 Nov 40 

5 Nov 41 
5 Nov 41 

3 Aug 42 
15 Jan 43 
15 Jan 43 

8 Nov 43 
1 5 May 44 
12 Jun 44 
12 Jun 
12 Jun 
12 Jun 

4 Jun 
2 Jul 


18 Aug 45 
18 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 
31 May 41 
22 Jul 43 

24 Jul 41 

22 Jul 44 

25 Aug 45 
27 May 44 

9 Feb 43 
5 Nov 43 
1 Apr 44 
8 Apr 44 
18 Dec 43 
18 Aug 45 
18 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 

23 Jun 45 
21 Jul 45 







Table No. 3 — Continued 

Courses and Output at the Armored School, 1940^45 

Number of 

Name of Course 


Date of 

Date of 


In Weeks 


Closing * 





2 Mar 42 

ljul 43 



Radio-Controlled Airplane Target. . . 


28 Feb 43 

25 Sep 43 




22 Nov 43 

27 Jul 44 



Special Medium Tank Maintenance 


31 Jan 44 

4 Apr 44 




8 Jan 45 

2 Jun 45 




10 May 45 

7 Jul 45 




4 Nov 40 

ljul 44 





TOTAL Officers and Enlisted Men . 



TOTAL Graduates * 79,767 

Sources: See Table No. 1, 

* Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 

* Exclusive of officer candidates. 

Courses and Output at the Ca 'airy School, 1940-45 


Name of Course 

In Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing ' 

Number of 




Basic Horse and Mechanized Cavalry 

Special Reconnaissance Troop 

Troop Commanders (Horse and 

Staff Officers and Squadron Com- 


New Unit Officers 

Tank Maintenance 

U.S. Military Academy 

Advanced , 

Special Mechanized Reconnaissance . 



Refresher for Cavalry Commanders . . 


Refresher (Mechanized) 

Basic Cavalry (Horse) 

Special Basic 


Enlisted Men 

Advanced Communications 

Advanced Motor 

Noncommissioned Officers Regular 
and National Guard 

Horse shoers 





Radio-Controlled Airplane Target. . . 

Tank Maintenance 

Radio Repairman 

Truck Company Maintenance 






7 Aug 40 
26 Jan 42 

6 Apr 42 

6 Apr 42 

28 Sep 42 
11 Jan 43 

1 Feb 43 

8 Feb 43 

29 Mar 43 
10 Apr 44 

1 May 44 
8 May 44 
19 Jun 44 
31 Jul 44 
29 Jan 45 
5 Feb 45 
23 Apr 45 

23 Dec 43 

21 Feb 42 

27Jun 42 

18 Mar 43 
21 Dec 44 
2 Jul 43 
9 Dec 44 
8 Sep 44 

27 Jan 45 
2 Dec 44 
6 Jan 45 
2 Dec 44 

30Jun 44 
2 Jun 45 
11 Aug 45 

28 Apr 45 
11 Aug 45 








31 Aug 40 
3 1 Aug 40 

16 Dec 40 
6 Jan 41 
6 Jan 41 

17 Mar 41 

17 Mar 41 
20 Oct 41 

4 Jan 43 
8 Feb 43 

18 Dec 43 
10 Apr 44 
1 3 Nov 44 

26 Sep 42 
4 May 44 

23 Dec 41 
7 Jun 45 
21 Jul 45 
28 Jul 45 
18 Aug 45 
9 Aug 45 
4 Jan 44 
4 Aug 45 
4 Aug 45 
2 Dec 44 
18 Aug 45 


Operation and Maintenance of Re- 
cording Odograph 

TOTAL Officers and Enlisted 

10 days 

22 Nov 43 

24 May 45 









TOTAL Graduates * 19,773 

Sources: See Table |No. l.| 

* Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 

* Exclusive of officer candidates. 

314 TABLE NO. 5 

Courses and Output at the Coast Artillery School, 1940-45 

Name of Course 

la Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing * 

Number of 




Stereoscopic Heightfinder (AA) . . . 

A A Refresher , 

AA Replacement Center , 

Seacoast Replacement Center 

Submarine Mining 

Seacoast Refresher , 

Radar SCR 268 (AA) 

WO's (JG) Army Mine Planter... 

A A Field Officers 

Artillery Engineer 

Special Equipment 

Seacoast Battery Officers 

Ml Data Computer 

Radio- Controlled Airplane Target . 

Seacoast Field Officers 

Radio-Controlled Target Boat. ... 

M9 Director 

Identification Friend or Foe Equip 

M8 Gun Data Computer 

Special Radar Course for R A Officers 

Mine Property Officers 


Enlisted Men 


Electrical. , 

Communications , 

Master Gunner , 

Radar Set SCR 268 

Motor , 

Submarine Mine Maintenance 

Special Equipment Maintenance 

Radio-Controlled Target Boat 

Ml Seacoast Data Computer 

Special Equipment Operators 

Radio-Controlled Airplane Target 

Radio Repairman 


Stereoscopic Range Finder 


M8 Data Computer 



10 days 

10 Nov 40 

23 Nov 40 

7 Dec 40 
4 Jan 41 

3 Feb 41 
15 Feb 41 

24 Feb 41 
19 May 41 
15 Nov 41 
12 Jan 42 

8 Aug 42 
7 Sep 42 

21 Sep 42 
28 Dec 42 

4 Jan 43 

11 Oct 43 
19 Feb 44 
17 Apr 44 
15 Jan 45 

12 Mar 45 
17 Mar 45 

2 May 42 
1 1 Apr 42 

7 Feb 41 

8 Feb 41 

25 Nov 44 
23jun 45 

4 Apr 42 
28 Nov 42 

7 Mar 42 

6 Apr 42 
10 Feb 45 
13 Mar 43 

1 Jan 44 

26 Feb 44 

6 Jan 45 
18 Nov 44 
25 May 44 

10 Jul 44 
23jun 45 

7 Jul 45 

11 May 45 




15 Sep 39 
4 Mar 40 

16 Sep 40 
16 Sep 40 
24 Feb 41 

7 Apr 41 

2 Feb 42 

13 Jul 42 
24 Aug 42 
2 1 Nov 42 

14 Dec 42 
28 Dec 42 

3 Jul 44 
10 Apr 44 

3 Oct 44 
18 Dec 44 

7 Dec 40 

7 Jul 45 
29 Sep 45 
30Jun 45 

9 May 42 
30Jun 45 
19 May 45 

9jun 45 
18 Nov 44 

17 Oct 42 
23 Sep 44 
16 Jan 43 

1 Aug 45 

18 Aug 45 

9 Jun 45 
23jun 45 

TOTAL Officers and Enlisted Men. 

* 96 








TOTAL Graduates d 

Sources; See Table [No7T| 

* Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 

* No record of officer graduates. 












e Graduates of AA Refresher included 

in Seacoast Refresher Course. 
* Exclusive of officer candidates. 

TABLE NO. 6 315 
Courses and Output at the Field Artillery School, 1940-45 

Name of Course 





Basic (Battery Officers) . . . 


Field Officers 

New Division Officers 

Full-Track Vehicle 

Sound- and Flash-Ranging. 
Pack Artillery 

Battery Executive 


Officers Advanced 

New Unit Officers 

Special Basic 


Field Artillery Pilot Short Course . 
Refresher Artillery Intelligence. . . 

Battery Officers Short Course 

Field-Staff Officers Short Course. . . 


Enlisted Men 


Artillery Mechanic 



Communications — Radio I and II. 


Full-Track Vehicles 


Field Artillery Air Mechanic 

Radio Repairman 




Sound-Ranging Equipment Repair 

and Maintenance 

Instrument Repair and Maintenance , 

Radar Preparatory 

Field Artillery Air Mechanic Short 


In Weeks 






4- 12 

5- 10 



Date of 

1 Aug 40 
1 Aug 40 
1 Aug 40 
15 Aug 40 

14 Nov 40 

10 Jul 41 

26 Jan 42 
23 Feb 42 

15 Jun 42 
3 Aug 42 

22 Dec 42 

11 Jan 43 

12 Apr 43 

27 Sep 43 

13 Mar 44 
29 Jan 45 
13 Aug 45 
13 Aug 45 
13 Aug 45 
13 Aug 45 


10 Jul 
10 Jul 
10 Jul 
10 Jul 
10 Jul 
10 Jul 
17 Nov 41 
3 Jul 42 
17 Aug 42 

15 Dec 42 
24 May 43 
21 Jun 43 
21 Jun 43 

5 Jun 44 
5 Jun 44 
19 Feb 45 

2 20 Aug 45 31 Aug 45 

Date of 
Closing * 

18 Aug 45 
4 Jul 42 

25 Aug 45 

30 Sep 44 
2 1 Feb 42 

8 May 43 

3 Jul 43 
18 Aug 45 

26 Aug 45 
26 Aug 44 

14 Jul 45 
26 May 45 
24 Feb 45 
8 Apr 44 

4 Aug 45 
11 Aug 45 

31 Aug 45 

29 Aug 42 
28 Jul 45 
6 May 44 
23 Sep 44 
25 Aug 45 
18 Aug 45 
18 Aug 45 
2 3 Sep 44 
18 Aug 45 

25 Aug 45 
11 Aug 45 
11 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 

4 Aug 45 
18 Aug 45 
23 Jun 45 

Number of 





TOTAL 37,336 

3 J 6 


Table No. 6 — Continued 

Name of Course 

In Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing * 

Number of 



Field Artillery Pilot 

Radio-Controlled Airplane Target. 


Meteorological Team Training. . .. 


11 days 

3 Aug 42 
28 Dec 42 
22 Nov 43 

5 Feb 45 

7 Jul 45 
28 Mar 45 

27 Jul 45 

28 Apr 45 





TOTAL Officers and Enlisted Men 34,3 14 

TOTAL Graduates c 72,066 

Sources: See Tabl efNo. 1. 1 

* Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 

* No graduates reported before 1 Sep 45. 
c Exclusive of officer candidates. 

Courses and Output at the Infantry School, 1940-45 


Name of Course 


Special Refresher Senior National 

Guard Officers 





New Division Officers 


Radio Airplane Target 

Air Force Weather Officer 

Special Basic 

Air Liaison Officer 

US Military Academy Basic 

Radio Countermeasure Training. . . . 


Professor of Military Science and 


Field Officers Short Course 

Company Officers Short Course 


Enlisted Men 

Radio Repairman 

USMA Preparatory 

Pre-Officer Candidate Course 

Bayonet Instructors 



Motor Mechanics 


Operation and Maintenance of 

Recording Odograph 

Artillery Mechanics 

Gun Instructors 

Sound Locating 

Explosives, Mines, and Booby Traps. 
Special Light Machine Gun 


Canadian Army Instructors 




1 2 days- 
3 mos 


2 days 





10 days 
1 5 days 

3- 4 

4- 6 

3 days 

Date of 

14 Aug 40 
2 1 Aug 40 

— Oct 40 

— Nov 40 
20 Nov 40 
24 Jan 42 
30 Aug 42 
29 Dec 42 

24 Nov 43 
27 Feb 44 

25 Mar 44 
8 Jul 44 
8 Aug 44 

10 Jan 45 

5 Jun 45 
13 Aug 45 
13 Aug 45 

23 Feb 45 
1 Apr 45 
5 Mar 45 

26 Jun 45 

10 Jul 40 
14 Oct 40 

22 Nov 43 
24 Nov 43 
27 Jan 45 
2 5 Feb 45 
17 Mar 45 

4 Jun 45 
30 Jun 45 

Date of 
Closing " 

25 Jan 41 

24 Apr 45 
10 Mar 44 
22 Mar 45 
13 Mar 45 

2 Jul 43 
5 Dec 44 
31 Aug 45 

25 Jan 44 
2 5 Aug 45 
30 May 44 

4 Sep 45 
9 Aug 44 
10 Aug 45 

30 Aug 45 

Number of 




28 Aug 45 
28 Jun 45 
31 Aug 45 
5 Jul 45 

21 Aug 45 

12 Aug 45 

26 Jul 45 
24 Nov 44 
29 Aug 45 
14 Aug 45 
10 Jun 45 

13 Jun 45 
16 Jul 45 

TOTAL Officers and Enlisted Men. 















TOTAL Graduates c 77, 47 4 

Sources: See Table fNo. l| 
a Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 
* No graduates reported before 1 Sep 45. 

Exclusive of officer candidates. 



Courses and Output at the Tan\ Destroyer School, 

Name of Course 

In Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing * 

Number of 




Advanced Orientation 

Basic Tactical 



Basic Orientation 


Advanced Tactical 


New Unit Officers 

US Military Academy Graduates . . . 

Full-Track Vehicles 



Indirect Fire 

Field Officers of Other Arms 

Company Officers of Other Arms. . . 
Officers Short Course 


3 May 42 
15 Aug 42 
1 5 Aug 42 
1 5 Aug 42 

7 Nov 42 
6 Feb 43 

8 Feb 43 
27 Mar 43 

1 May 43 
26 Jun 43 

4 Sep 43 
6 May 44 
6 Dec 44 
3 Feb 45 

17 Mar 45 
17 Mar 45 
13 Aug 45 

6 Feb 43 
25 Jun 43 

29 Apr 44 

13 Jan 45 

2 Jan 43 

6 Jan 45 

7 Feb 44 

27 Sep 44 

3 Sep 43 

30 Sep 44 
23 Jun 45 
10 Feb 45 

28 Apr 45 

4 Aug 45 

14 Apr 45 
28 Apr 45 


















Enlisted Men 



Radio Electrician and Technician. . . 


Full-Track Vehicles 

Artillery Mechanics 


Radio Repairman 



Diesel Maintenance 


Demolitions, Mines, and Booby 



TOTAL Officers and Enlisted 





15 Aug 42 
29 Aug 42 

5 Sep 42 
19 Sep 42 

4 Sep 43 
2 5 Sep 43 
13 Nov 43 
18 Dec 43 

29 Apr 44 
3 Mar 44 
31 Dec 43 
18 Jun 45 
23 Jun 45 
10 Feb 45 
18 Aug 45 
7 Jul 45 

3 May 42 
20 Nov 43 

24 Mar 45 

10 Jul 43 
13 Jul 44 

2 Jun 45 





82 5 





TOTAL Graduates c , 

Sources: See Table lNo. 1.1 

* Or last date of graduation before 1 Sep 45. 

* No graduates reported before 1 Sep 45. 
c Exclusive of officer candidates. 

5,526 17,211 



Courses and Output at the Parachute School, 

Name of Course 

in Weeks 

Date of 

Date of 
Closing " 

Number of 



Enlisted Men 

Parachute Artillery 

Parachute Medical 

Advanced Parachute Jump . 

20 Nov 44 
20 Nov 44 
4 Dec 44 

25 Aug 45 

26 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 





Basic Parachute Jump 

Parachute Communication . 

Parachute Demolition 

Parachute Riggers 

Parachute Camouflage c 

Jumpm aster 

Machine Maintenance 

Parachute Infantry c 

Parachute Engineers c 

Airborne Orientation 


3- 9 

4- 5 


19 Mar 41 
2 Mar 42 

16 Mar 42 

20 Jul 42 
8 Mar 43 

20 Mar 44 

25 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 
25 Aug 45 
18 Dec 43 
22 Apr 44 
9 Dec 44 


— Mar 44 

— Apr 44 
1 1 Dec 44 

19 May 45 



TOTAL Officers and Enlisted Men. 









TOTAL Graduates 1 18,078 

Sources: See Table No. 1. 

* Or date of last graduation before 1 Sep 45. 

* This figure probably includes some officers. 
c No other information available. 

^No breakdown between officers and enlisted men available. 

The Training of Officer Candidates 


William R. Keast 




Selection of Candidates 328 

General Organisation of the Schools 329 

Academic Training 330 

Training in Leadership 334 

Selection for Commissions 335 

Selection and Training of Tactical Officers 342 

Factors Determining Success and Failure 344 


1942-45 351 

Introduction of Tests 351 

Preparatory Schools 352 

The Turnback Policy 354 

Proposed Revision of Procedures for Selecting Candidates 356 

Extension of the OCS Course to Seventeen Weeks 358 

Proposals for a 6-Month OCS Course 360 

Developments in 1944-4 J 362 


Graduation of Officer Candidates from AGF Service Schools, 1941-45. 326 

I. The Role and Organization of 
Officer Candidate Schools 

The training of officer candidates, and their selection for commissions, in 
the service schools of the Army Ground Forces were integral parts of the officer 
procurement program, the more general aspects of which have been dealt with 
in a preceding study in this volume, "The Procurement of Officers." The mission 
of the officer candidate schools (OCS) was to convert enlisted men into combat 
officers to meet mobilization requirements for commissioned personnel in the 
company grades, in excess of the available supply of Regular, Reserve, and 
National Guard officers. In courses varying from twelve to seventeen weeks in 
length, the schools trained enlisted men and warrant officers in the basic duties 
of a junior officer of an arm, determined their possession of leadership qualities 
and other traits desirable in an officer, and recommended their commission, if 
qualified, as second lieutenants in the Army of the United States. This mission 
was extended in 1942 to include the training of members of the Reserve Officers' 
Training Corps who left college campuses to enter the Army before completing 
the full ROTC course; such men — numbering about one-tenth of all OCS 
graduates from AGF schools — received Reserve commissions after graduating 
from officer candidate school. 

Officer candidate training was a mobilization procedure. Production of 
officers in peacetime was limited to the Military Academy, the Reserve Officers' 
Training Corps, the National Guard, and extension courses conducted by service 
schools. From these sources it was anticipated that enough officers would be 
available to meet the requirements of the first 120 days of mobilization. There- 
after, additions to officer strength were to come — except for civilian specialists 
commissioned directly — from the officer candidate schools, the operations of 
which were to begin on M Day. 

Plans for officer candidate training were embodied in Mobilization Regula- 
tions and in mobilization plans drawn up before 1940. 1 Mobilization plans in 
1938, for example, called for 225,000 officers during the first year of mobilization, 
to command an Army of 3,000,000. Of these officers 128,000 — Regular, Reserve, 
and National Guard — were expected to be available on M Day. The officer candi- 

1 MR 1-4, 17 Oct 38, 25 Oct 39; MR 3-1, 3 Apr 39, 23 Nov 40. 

Graduation of Officer Candidates from AGF Service Schools, 1941^45* 

60 1 






1941 1942 1943 1944 1943 

S—rt* Statistic* compiled la Hut D*r, VDS5, bam records of AGO. 

Thnnvb August 31, 1945. 



date schools were to supply the remainder, training monthly increments varying 
from 25,000 to 1,500 during the first nine months and none thereafter. 2 

Mobilization of the Army after 1940 did not proceed according to the 
schedule envisaged in prewar plans. Before Pearl Harbor mobilization was much 
slower than had been anticipated. As a result of the slow pace of early mobiliza- 
tion, requirements for officers in excess of those who could be supplied from the 
Regular, Reserve, and National Guard components did not appear until after 
Pearl Harbor. Accordingly, large-scale officer candidate training was deferred 
until the beginning of 1942, by which time the Army had attained a strength 
of approximately 1,600,000 men. By the end of 1941 only 1,389 officer candidates 
had been commissioned in the ground arms. 

During 1942 mobilization was very much more rapid and extensive than 
had been anticipated, and the officer candidate schools were forced to expand to 
unforeseen dimensions. More than 112,000 officer candidates for the ground arms 
alone were graduated during the peak mobilization years, 1942 and 1943. For 
the war period as a whole, the ground arms receiv ed more than 136,000 graduates 

from the schools. 1 See the accompanying chart. 

Although the mission assigned to officer candidate schools in prewar plan- 
ning was that of supplying urgent officer requirements, and while they actually 
performed that mission after 1941, they were not established primarily for such 
a purpose. In the early fall of 1940, when Gen. George C. Marshall directed his 
staff to study the feasibility of opening officer candidate schools during Decem- 
ber, there was an abundance of officers. The statutory size of the Army was 
1,400,000, including an annual increment of 900,000 selectees. Reserve officer 
strength was judged sufficient for an Army of 2,000,000. G-i and G-3 of the 
General Staff saw no need for officer candidate training. The Chiefs of Infantry, 
Cavalry, Field Artillery, Coast Artillery, and Signal Corps — the only branches 
concerned in the early planning — were "unanimous in opposing the project, 
stating that no necessity existed therefor." The Chiefs preferred not to expand 
the Officers' Reserve Corps — to which originally it was intended to assign officer 
candidate graduates — unless the need became urgent. The War Department 
G-3 conceded that officer candidate schools might have some morale value, but 
urged that the number of candidates be kept at a minimum. 3 General Marshall, 

"Army War College Study (R), I Nov 38, sub: Procurement of Off Pers. See also AWC Study (R), 2 
Nov 39, same sub. AWC Records. 

*WD memo of Brig Gen F. M. Andrews for CofS USA, 7 Sep 40, sub: OCSs. AGO Records, 352 
(9-19-40) (1 ) Sec 1, Part 1. 



over the opposition of his staff, directed that plans be drawn to provide officer 
candidate schools for trainees during the last months of their year of training. 
Although they were not required in the near future, it was believed that officer 
candidate graduates might be useful a year hence when most of the 50,000 
Reserve officers on extended active duty would return to civilian life. Since 
4,500,000 men were to pass through the Army during the succeeding five years, 
the War Department was confident that the "cream of the crop" would make 
good officers for the National Defense Program. 4 

Five officer candidate schools for the ground arms — Infantry, Field Artillery, 
Coast Artillery, Cavalry, and Armored — were accordingly established in July 
1941. Until March 1942 the Coast Artillery School trained both seacoast and 
antiaircraft officer candidates. When the Antiaircraft Artillery Command was 
established as a part of the Army Ground Forces in March 1942, training of anti- 
aircraft officers was transferred from the Coast Artillery School to the new 
Antiaircraft Artillery School at Camp Davis, N. C. Until October 1942, new 
officers for tank destroyer units were detailed from the other arms; then an 
Officer Candidate Department of the Tank Destroyer School was established 
and henceforth trained junior officers for tank destroyer units. 

Selection of Candidates 

The War Department delegated the authority to select men who were to 
attend officer candidate schools to designated commanding generals to whom 
quotas for the several schools were allotted. These commanders in turn appointed 
boards of officers to interview applicants and recommend those best qualified 
for officer training. All selection boards were guided in their examination of 
applicants by standards laid down in War Department regulations and circulars. 
Although these standards were changed in detail from time to time to meet 
changing conditions, they always involved age, physical condition, military 
service, capacity for leadership, learning ability, citizenship, character, and 

Standards of learning ability, education, and leadership produced the 
greatest practical difficulties. Learning ability was measured by the Army General 
Classification Test (AGCT). To qualify for officer training, an applicant was 
required to have a minimum score of no. Originally it was not intended to use 

*WD memo G-3/25445 for CofS USA, 19 Sep 40, sub: OCSs. AGO Records, 352 (9-19-40) (1) 
Sec 1, Part 1. 


3 2 9 

AGCT scores in selecting candidates but to develop an educational test and a 
leadership ability test for the screening of applicants. The Army General Classifi- 
cation Test was decided upon only as a temporary expedient pending completion 
of these tests. 5 Since only one of the projected tests was developed, however — 
and this test was not ready for general use until the end of 1944 — the Army 
General Classification Test remained the principal instrument for selection. 

No formal educational requirement was ever specified for OCS applicants. 
War Department directives suggested that for certain technical schools — for 
example, Engineer, Ordnance, and Finance — academic degrees would be desir- 
able, but they were not held to be essential. The educational standard was merely 
the possession of "such education or civil or military experience as will reasonably 
insure . . . satisfactory completion of the course." 9 

The most important requirement for selection as an officer candidate was 
proven leadership ability. No definition of leadership was ever provided by the 
War Department and no test of leadership ever devised. Each selection board 
was left to draw up its own specifications. Consequently, candidates chosen from 
different sources and at different times displayed the greatest variation in this 
respect. Other standards, such as age, physique, citizenship, and learning ability, 
were susceptible of fairly precise determination. When demands for candidates 
rose above the supply of men clearly qualified for training, it was the leadership 
requirement that was most frequently neglected. Then, instead of getting men 
who had "demonstrated high qualities of leadership" 7 from whom they would 
select the best, the schools had to devote much time and effort to clearing the rolls 
of men almost completely lacking in leadership ability. 

In general the requirements for admission to officer candidate school were 
so loosely drawn that the schools were forced to develop their own means of 
eliminating men who should never have been selected. 

General Organization of the Schools 

The operation of officer candidate schools was complicated by their twofold 
mission — training and selection. School instruction, which occupied the major 
portion of time, was designed to provide the technical and tactical knowledge 
needed by a platoon leader. Concurrently the schools carried on a thorough 

"WD AG memo for G-i WD, 6 Jun 41, sub: Selection of Trainees for OCS. AGO Records, 352 
(9-19-40) (1) Sec 1, Part I. 

* Par 6 h, Cir 126, WD, 28 Apr 42. 
T Par 10, Sec II, Cir 48, WD, 19 Feb 42. 



screening process to determine which candidates should become officers and 
which should be returned to enlisted status. The two functions of training and 
selection were performed by separate groups of officers. Regular instruction and 
academic examinations were the responsibilities of a faculty of instructors. Selec- 
tion of candidates for commissions was the primary responsibility of the "tactical 
officers," to whose charge the men were assigned during the course. This double 
structure of training and selection contrasted with the scheme used in training 
officers during World War I, when the same officers taught the candidates and 
judged their suitability for commissions. When candidate schools were estab- 
lished in 1941, it was thought that more efficient instruction and more reliable 
judgment of suitability would result if each function were performed by special- 
ists. 8 The work of instructors and tactical officers overlapped to some extent: 
academic grades supplied by instructors were the chief academic basis for selec- 
tion of candidates ; tactical officers conducted instruction in drill, discipline, and 
physical training and, in some schools, in such basic subjects as military courtesy, 
first aid, and administration. 9 The gap between instructors and tactical officers 
was bridged by the Faculty Board, a group of officers normally containing repre- 
sentatives of the instructional departments and of the officer candidate school 
staff, responsible to the school commandant for final selection, rejection, or 
turnback of candidates. At regular intervals each candidate class was screened 
by the Faculty Board, which based its decisions on academic records and 
recommendations of tactical officers, supplemented by its own observations. 

Academic Training 

Except at the Antiaircraft Artillery School, officer candidates were given 
only general training. That is, no attempt was made to prepare officers to fill 
specific types of assignment within the branch. A graduate of the Field Artillery 
School might become a platoon leader in a battery firing any one of several kinds 
of weapons; he might be assigned to training duty at a replacement training 
center or to duty in an artillery staff section; or he might become an instructor or 
tactical officer at the Field Artillery School. A single curriculum was designed to 
prepare him for any of these duties. Training was not quite as generalized as a 

1 Statements of Col R. R. Coursey, WD G-i Div (formerly Director of OCs, Inf Sch) to AGF Hist Off, 
2 Mar 45; of Col Waine Archer, G-3 Div Hq ETOUSA (formerly Coordinator of Tng, Inf Sch), 7 May 45. 

'Until 1943, for example, at the Tank Destroyer OCS; statement of Maj W. B. Anderson, Sec TD Sch 
to AGF Hist Off, 13 Mar 45. 


33 1 

list of possible branch assignments might indicate. The focus of the curriculum 
was on eventual duty as a combat platoon leader. The great majority of graduates 
were so assigned; to have built a program on a wider range of probable assign- 
ments would have resulted in an unintegrated course. The test applied to each 
subject suggested for inclusion in OCS programs was the question: "Will this 
material help produce an officer who can train troops and lead them in battle?" 
Subjects that could not pass this test — even though they might be adapted to 
some possible officer assignments in the branch — were omitted in favor of subjects 
that could. 

The policy of giving only general training in officer candidate schools rested 
in part on the assumption — fundamental in Army doctrine — that every officer 
should be qualified to fill any position commensurate with his rank. It rested 
also on the conviction in the Army Ground Forces that service in a troop unit 
provided the best training for an officer, and that officer candidate courses should 
be kept short and basic in order not to delay unduly the beginning of an officer's 
troop duty. After a period of service in a unit, during which habits of leadership 
had been developed, officers destined for higher command, staff, or technical 
assignments could be returned to school for more specialized instruction. 

From the generalized character of OCS training it followed that programs 
had to include familiarization work in preparation for a number of combat 
assignments, with concentration on the one which the majority of graduates 
would probably be given. Thus the Infantry OCS course included training in 
all infantry weapons and tactical exercises involving all elements of the infantry 
regiment, but more time was devoted to the rifle and to tactics of the rifle com- 
pany than to the rest. At the Field Artillery School the candidate was given a 
brief orientation in each field artillery weapon, but firing problems and tactical 
exercises used only the 105-mm. howitzer, which was the basic piece and the one 
with which the new officer would most probably be concerned. 

After January 1943 the Antiaircraft Artillery School deviated from the policy 
of conducting only general training. During its first year of operation this school, 
like the others, had trained men to fill any second lieutenant's position in any 
type of antiaircraft unit. By late 1942, when a considerable number of graduates 
had reached units in the field, the school received reports that they were unquali- 
fied. They had been given a smattering of work on antiaircraft guns, automatic 
weapons, and searchlights, but the 12-week course had been too brief to qualify 
them fully for duty in a unit equipped with any one of the three. It was decided 
to lengthen the course to thirteen weeks and to divide each class into three groups 

33 2 


for specialized instruction on guns, automatic weapons, and searchlights during 
the latter part of the course. The time was divided as follows: one week of organi- 
zation, orientation, physical hardening, and basic subjects; seven weeks of com- 
mon instruction in individual weapons, tactics, motors, communications, etc.; 
four weeks of specialized instruction in one of the three groups mentioned 
above; and during the final week a field exercise in which the class was again 
brought together. After March 1943, when the Antiaircraft Artillery School 
received permission to lengthen its officer candidate course to seventeen weeks — 
chiefly because the specialized training had been found to require more time than 
was available in the 13-week cycle — ten weeks were devoted to common 
instruction and seven to specialization. 

Division of the class into three groups for specialized instruction was carried 
out primarily on the basis of class standing and the difficulty of the specialty. 
Gun instruction was regarded as the most difficult, searchlights as the next most 
difficult, and automatic weapons as the easiest. After the number of officers 
required in each specialty had been determined, the men ranking highest in the 
class academically were assigned to instruction in guns, the middle portion of 
the class was assigned to searchlights, and the bottom group was assigned to 
automatic weapons. Specialized OCS instruction had great immediate benefits. 
Officers assigned to units were much more proficient initially than their more 
broadly trained predecessors had been. This immediate advantage was counter- 
balanced by serious long-run defects. Transfers were more difficult because 
officers were qualified only in one type of equipment. As the war progressed and 
the antiaircraft establishment shrank, necessitating extensive reassignment of 
officers, it was found that much retraining had to be conducted in order to 
broaden their knowledge and skill. Such retraining was expensive and 
time-consuming. 10 

The program of instruction for the officer candidate course was substantially 
identical at all schools with that for the Officers Basic Course, but candidates 
were required to attend a study period four or five nights a week and were held 
to somewhat more rigid academic standards than commissioned officer students. 
The principal difference between instruction as conducted for candidates and 
instruction as conducted for officer students in the basic course lay in the use of 
regular training as a source of information about the candidate's leadership 

10 (1) Statement of Lt Col D. F. Sellards, S-3 AAA Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 17 Mar 45. (2) Statement of 
Lt Col S. W. Luther, G-3 Schs Br, A A Comd, to AGF Hist Off, 17 Mar 45. 



Officer candidates were judged not only on their academic record but also 
on their attitude in class, their force, initiative, and other qualities not directly 
related to academic performance. Tactical officers accompanied their men to 
classroom and field to observe them. The candidate had to learn the subject and 
at the same time to demonstrate that he possessed leadership qualities of more 
general applicability. 

Use of regular training as a basis for selection, while necessary in view of the 
limited time available to decide upon the candidate's fitness, compromised tha 
quality of instruction. The candidate had to think both of the work at hand and 
of the kind of impression he was making on his judges. Often candidates were 
reluctant to ask questions for fear they would appear stupid or slow; they pre- 
ferred not to hazard answers unless they were sure of themselves ; they tried to 
avoid responsibility and conceal initiative, for with these went the possibility of 
blundering before the class and the tactical officers. Although a good, honest 
mistake is frequently the quickest and surest method of learning, candidates 
were impelled by the instinct of self-preservation to play safe and remain in the 
background, in the hope that avoidance of error might be construed as positive 
merit. 11 These results of the system may throw some light on the frequent com- 
plaints that junior officers hesitated to accept responsibility, to take risks, and to 
carry on in the absence of specific directions from above. 

The union between training and selection in some schools produced what 
came to be known as the "Hockey Team." The Hockey Team was a group of 
unfortunate candidates occupying the limbo between the possibilities of gradua- 
tion and failure. To support a definite judgment of these doubtful men, tactical 
officers needed more information than regular methods provided. They arranged 
that instructors call on such men frequently in class and assign them positions of 
responsibility in training problems. Assignment to the Hockey Team was a severe 
blow to a candidate's morale, and the heavy load of assignments and unrelenting 
public attention subjected him to more exacting standards than those to which his 
more fortunate colleagues had to conform. Indirectly, the other candidates suf- 
fered also. Largely exempted from accountability for work assigned, they had less 
incentive to study and fewer opportunities to put their knowledge into practice. 

Estimates of the candidates by instructors took the form of examination 
grades, supplemented by written reports on class or field performance and by 
informal conferences with tactical officers. A candidate failed if his average 

n See unpublished MS by Cpl Henry G. Fairbanks, "A Candidate's Critique of Infantry OCS," on file 
in Office of the Secretary, Inf Sch. 



grade on tests fell below a designated level. In some schools the grades were 
weighted in proportion to the importance of the different subjects. Each man's 
academic standing was made available to his tactical officers and was included 
in records submitted to the Faculty Board. 

Training in Leadership 

The officer candidate schools tried to influence and to hasten the develop- 
ment of leadership ability in men who were potentially possessed of it. They tried 
to weed out those who lacked a capacity for leadership and those who might 
become leaders only after too long a period of training. Training in leadership 
took two forms, direct or theoretical and indirect or practical. 

The indirect, practical training occurred during regular instruction and 
daily drill. Each candidate was put in as many situations as possible — as squad 
leader, platoon sergeant, or company commander in the company organization; 
as patrol leader, platoon leader, company commander, tank commander, or 
gunnery officer, during school problems — in which he would have to exercise 
command, express his ability as a leader, act on his own responsibility, and direct 
a group in carrying out an assignment. School problems were designed primarily 
to teach a subject and to demonstrate to the candidate how he could teach it to 
his men. But through rotation of assignments, each man had in addition a series 
of opportunities to demonstrate his leadership ability and to improve it. 

A notable example of leadership training was that given in the technique 
of instruction. In learning to teach a group of men the candidate was actually 
learning to perform one of the basic continuing functions of military leadership. 
At the Armored School, and to a lesser extent at the Cavalry School, this fact was 
recognized and exploited in the curriculum. Each candidate was required to 
prepare and teach his classmates one or more extended lessons on basic military 
subjects. The candidate's ability to capture and hold the attention of the class, 
to organize and transmit his material clearly, and to deal with unexpected ques- 
tions and problems gave him experience and provided a basis for judgment of 
his potential value as an officer. 

Direct or theoretical instruction in leadership took place in the classroom. 
It usually consisted of lectures, case studies, and conferences designed to make 
clear to the candidate the ingredients of leadership and to indicate the ways in 
which leadership problems might arise. The candidate was required to analyze 
hypothetical situations that might confront him and decide what he would do 



to meet them, so that he would begin at once to assume the combat officer's 
burden of responsibility and go into batde with a capacity for any problem that 
might arise. At the Infantry School, where this system of teaching leadership was 
developed by Lt. Col. Samuel I. Parker (winner of the Congressional Medal of 
Honor in World War I), six hours were devoted to the subject. 12 During this 
time the qualities fundamental to leadership were distinguished and analyzed, 
several actual cases of combat leadership were discussed by the instructor, each 
student was required to prepare and present his analysis of a real or hypothetical 
combat situation involving a problem in leadership, and the students were 
introduced to a scale for rating themselves and others with respect to leadership. 
The instructors in the course were, whenever possible, officers decorated for 
heroism in World Wars I or II. To supplement the regular course in leadership, 
lectures on combat experiences were given from time to time by officers recently 
returned from overseas. 

It is impossible to assess precisely the effectiveness of these devices for 
improving the leadership ability of the candidates. In the practical exercise of 
command during routine instruction, classes were too large for any man to 
receive more than a limited number of opportunities to control a unit. The 
scarcity of occasions was balanced to some extent by the vividness of each. Know- 
ing he was on trial, observed by classmates, instructors, and tactical officers, the 
candidate probably learned each lesson in leadership more thoroughly. 

Selection for Commissions 

The selection system used in the officer candidate schools, as well as that 
used for selecting candidates, had to be evolved in the face of the absence of an 
objective standard of leadership ability. No way was discovered during the war 
of accurately defining, measuring, or detecting leadership ability in individuals. 
Each school, within a framework of generalized attributes thought to be indica- 
tive of leadership, amassed from as many sources as possible a collection of 
independent judgments on each candidate's leadership ability. The consensus 
was taken as the nearest practical approximation to an objective measure. The 
schools frankly recognized the impossibility of reducing the judgment of leader- 
ship to an exact formula. Each observer was directed to work out for himself a 
criterion by which to assess the individuals under his observation. No substitute 

"The course is outlined in the Infantry School Mailing List, Vol. XXVI (1943), Chap. 7, Vol. XXVII 
(1944), Chap. 1. 


for hutnan judgment could be invoked. In appraisal the essential question was : 
"Would I be willing to follow this man in battle?" 13 

Despite wide variation in details, all AGF officer candidate schools followed 
the same basic plan in screening candidates for commissions. The purpose of 
screening was to determine as early as possible, first, the candidates manifestly 
unqualified for commissions, so that they could be relieved and more time spent 
on the remaining men; second, the candidates obviously fit to become officers, 
so that time would not be wasted in observing them extensively; and, finally, the 
borderline candidates needing assistance, extra practice, and careful scrutiny 
before final determination of their suitability could be made. Usually three 
screenings occurred during the 17-week cycle. At each screening the Faculty 

"Unless otherwise indicated, this section is based on the following documents, located in 314.7 (AGF 
Hist), except those of the TD School, which were in TD Sch files: 

Antiaircraft Artillery School 

Candidates' Class Record, 6 Apr 43. 

Armored School 

Orientation for the Officer Candidate of the Armored Officer Candidate School, Jul 43. 
Standing Operating Procedure for the Rating of Officer Candidates, undated. 
The Armored Officer Candidate School — General Regulations and Information, 2 Oct 43. 
Memo of Col A. S. J. Stovall, Jr., Director Armd OCS, for New Members of AFOCS Status Board, 
22 Apr 43. 

Cavalry School 

Instruction Circular for Officer Candidates, Oct 43. 
OCS Information Bulletin No. 1 , Apr 43. 

OCS Memo, Classification and Final Selection of Officer Candidates, undated. 

Field Artillery School 

Handbook for Officer Candidates, 15 Mar 44. 
Handbook for Officer Candidates, 15 Mar 45. 

Rating Form for Use of Interviewers and Oral Examiners, 22 Jan 45. 
Rating and Observation Report on Officer Candidates, 16 Jan 45. 

Infantry School 

Hq 3d Student Tng Regt memo, 21 Dec 43, sub: Guide for Officers of the OCS. 

Leadership Rating Scale, 1 Jul 44. 

Leadership — How to Use the Rating Scale, 1 Jul 44. 

Memo of Capt J. J. McGrath for Asst Comdt, undated [ 1 942] , sub: OC Failures — Some Obsns. 
Guide for Tactical Offs of the Tng Brig, 9 Nov 42. 

Regulations Governing the Opns of the Faculty Bd for OC Classes, 24 Mar 44. 

Tank Destroyer School 

Candidate Rating Sheet, undated. 
Consolidated Efficiency Report, undated. 
Officer Candidate Characteristics, 1 Jun 43. 

OCS Dept memo for CO OCS Regt, 12 Dec 42, sub: Reports on OCs. 

TD Sch memo for all OCs, 12 Nov 42, sub: Academic and Leadership Standard. 



Board met and reviewed the record of each candidate recommended to its 
attention by the tactical officers. 

The first screening of the class (after the OCS course had been extended to 
seventeen weeks) occurred during the fifth or sixth week of the course. At this 
time men who were failing academically or who lacked aptitude or basic educa- 
tion were relieved or were turned back to a later class in the hope that they 
might do better on a second try. Candidates were not usually relieved for lack 
of leadership ability at the first board meeting; it was felt that a candidate had 
not yet had enough time to demonstrate his capacity for leadership. At the 
second screening, usually carried out during the twelfth or thirteenth week, men 
put on probation at the first board meeting were reinstated or disposed of, and 
academic failures since the last board meeting were relieved. The principal 
function of this screening was to weed out men weak in leadership. The final 
board, meeting usually during the sixteenth or seventeenth week, dealt with 
any men who had recently fallen from grace, decided what to do with men put 
on probation by the second board, and recommended for commissions the men 
considered qualified. 

The decisions of the Faculty Board — whether to relieve the candidate, to 
turn him back, to place him on probation, to allow him to continue in good 
standing, or, if it was a final screening, to commission him — were based on the 
candidate's academic record, on the ratings made by tactical officers and fellow 
candidates, and, if necessary, on the board's own opinion of the man based on an 
interview with him. The function of the school faculty in supplying evidence of 
academic ability has already been discussed; ratings by tactical officers and 
fellow candidates remain to be considered. 

For information on each of the thirty to one hundred men assigned to him 
the tactical officer depended on several sources. Information as to the candidate's 
AGCT score, civilian education and occupation, and previous military service 
was available from records. Early in the course, at most schools, each candidate 
prepared a brief autobiography, from which the tactical officer drew inferences 
about his character. The platoon leader interviewed each man early in the course 
and at intervals thereafter, to obtain a more direct and personal impression of his 
personality. Before the course was well under way the tactical officer had begun 
to analyze his men and to mark those who looked especially good and especially 
poor. But the chief sources of information became available during the course. 
One of these, the candidate's performance during regular academic instruction, 
has already been mentioned. The other major sources were the candidate's 



performance of assigned company duties, his skill in conducting drill and 
physical training, his demerits or "gigs," and the ratings made of him by his 
fellow candidates. 

Except for routine administration, messing, and supply, each officer candi- 
date company or section was staffed by the candidates. The duties of company 
commander, executive, platoon leader, and so on down to assistant squad leader 
were performed by the men, who were rotated in these assignments weekly or 
semiweekly. Tactical officers were present at all formations, during all move- 
ments of the company, and during all instruction, but they remained in the back- 
ground as observers, letting the candidates run the show. Regular rotation of 
company duties put each candidate in some kind of command position several 
times during the course. During these assignments he was on his own, making 
decisions, giving commands, maintaining discipline, making corrections, antici- 
pating problems, and coping with emergencies. The tactical officers had an 
excellent opportunity to assess the candidate's capacity for command. Some form 
of efficiency report was maintained on each candidate during the command 
assignments and was incorporated in his record. 

In all schools daily periods of drill and physical training were conducted by 
the candidates themselves. Normally four or five men in each platoon or section 
were detailed, two or three days in advance, to prepare instructions covering 
designated paragraphs of FM 22-5, Infantry Drill Regulations, or FM 21-20, 
Physical Training. Each man took the group for ten or fifteen minutes, explain- 
ing the drills or exercises, demonstrating them, conducting practical work by 
the other candidates, and criticizing the performance. These assignments required 
the candidate to display his ability to give clear directions and forceful orders, 
his command over the men, and the quality of his voice and appearance. The 
value of assignments was diminished somewhat by the amount of warning the 
candidates received and by the care the candidates took to protect each other. 
Knowing they would be in the same position later, they did their best to execute 
drills and exercises with a precision that would reflect credit on the candidate 
in charge. 

Candidates were held to severe standards of dress, conduct, bearing, obedi- 
ence to orders, and police of quarters and equipment. Infractions of the many 
rules were punished by demerits or delinquencies, commonly called "gigs" or 
"skins." Daily lists or "gig sheets" were posted showing the names of offenders 
and the nature and severity of their offenses. Gigs were graded according to 
gravity, and each candidate was permitted to accumulate a certain number of 



delinquencies during a week or during the course. After the limit was passed, 
or after a major offense was committed, disciplinary action, probation, or even 
relief from the school ensued. 

Actions or omissions judged to be delinquencies varied greatly from school 
to school. In most schools the candidates learned the exact list of crimes by their 
own transgressions or those of their classmates. Only the Armored School went 
so far as to publish a list of punishable delinquencies — an elaborate catalogue of 
sins ranging from "Abrasives, using on rifles" to "Yelling, or cheering, or 
allowing same, in disapprobation of published orders." 14 

Although the gig sheets were universally disliked by the candidates, they 
were useful in the quick conversion of civilians into officers. The system of 
allotting definite penalties for even the most minor violations of orders promoted 
alertness, precision, foresight, and responsibilty. It subjected the candidate to a 
regimen more rigorous than he would impose upon his men, but it gave him a 
standard toward which to guide his unit. The system aided tactical officers in 
judging the candidates. The man who left dust upon his book shelf, appeared 
in formation without his name tag, or failed to get all the powder foulings out 
of his rifle might be habitually careless; the tactical officer would confirm or deny 
this judgment in later observation. 

Tactical officers were as nearly ubiquitous as possible. But they could not 
watch the candidate in his informal moments, few though these were. An artful 
candidate might conceal disqualifying habits and attitudes from the tactical 
officer. But he could not hide them from the men with whom he lived. As a 
check on the reliability of the tactical officer's judgment and as a source of addi- 
tional information, the candidates were required to rate each other at intervals 
during the course. Each candidate rated the members of his platoon or section 
two or three times during the 17-week cycle. The most common procedure was 
to require the candidate to list his classmates in the order of their suitability as 
combat leaders and to supply a brief comment on each man justifying the rating 
he was given. A rating scale or a list of important attributes was usually furnished 
as a guide. When consolidated, the candidate ratings gave each man a relative 
position in the composite judgment of the group. 

Three purposes were served by the intra-platoon ratings. They gave a fairly 
reliable measure of each man's ability to command the respect and confidence 
of his fellows, a signal attribute of a successful leader. They gave some insight 

" Armd F OCS pamphlet, "Demerit and Punishment Procedure." 314.7 (AGF Hist). 



into each candidate's ability to judge others, also important to an officer. Finally, 
the intra-platoon ratings corrected each other and the judgments of the tactical 
officers. If half the men put a candidate near the top of their lists and half placed 
him near the bottom, something was wrong and investigation might turn up 
evidence that would permit a fairer judgment of the man. If the platoon leader 
rated a candidate high and the men rated him low, investigation might disclose 
error, collusion, or some other flaw in the system. 

The system of class ratings did not work perfectly. Knowing that he was 
to be rated, a candidate might try to put on a new character for seventeen weeks. 
He might try to ingratiate himself with the other men in order to win their favor. 
The whole thing might at times take on the aspect of a popularity contest. 
Cliques might develop and turn into mutual commendation societies. It was in 
recognition of these weaknesses that the candidate ratings acquired the derisive 
name of "Buddy Sheets." Purely personal feelings were difficult to divorce 
from the sober estimates required. Comments supplied by the candidates to 
justify their ratings of each other were often mechanical — and therefore worth- 
less — repetitions of the vocabulary furnished by the prescribed rating scale. 
Remarks such as "A little weak in leadership," "Has military knowledge," 
and "Plenty aggressive" were too brief and too general to give a clear definition 
of a man's qualities. Many candidates did not know what leadership was nor 
how to recognize its presence in an individual. The candidate ratings were 
often misused by tactical officers having access to them. The tactical officers based 
their own judgments of the men on those of the candidates; independence of 
judgment was thereby lost, and the value of having several sources of data on 
each man largely nullified. Most schools, when they found candidate ratings 
abused in this manner, required tactical officers to rate their men before the 
candidate ratings were turned in, but it was difficult to secure complete 

On the whole, however, the men took their responsibilities seriously and 
tried to rate each other honestly. In the nature of things some variation was 
inevitable. But there was a high degree of concordance among the estimates made 
by the candidates and between their estimates and those made by the tactical 
officers. Used cautiously, with recognition of their limitations, and in combi- 
nation with ratings and measures from other independent sources, class ratings 
were a valuable part of the selection scheme. 

Of the three principal ratings made on each man — academic rating, tacti- 
cal officer's rating, and fellow candidate's rating — the last two carried the 



greater weight because they were based on the candidate's leadership ability. 
A man whose leadership ability was high but whose academic average was low 
would probably be commissioned. A man whose grades were high but whose 
leadership was thought mediocre or poor would probably not be commissioned. 

Several schools experimented with supplementary or substitute techniques 
for selecting candidates. At the Armored School a military psychologist inter- 
viewed and rated each incoming candidate and predicted his chance of success 
in officer candidate school. Ratings were made on (1) ability, including general 
ability, reading, arithmetic, and mathematical comprehension; (2) personality, 
including emotional stability, test-honesty, and pattern (a psychological term 
used to sum up such an observation as "aggressive and fairly self-confident") ; 
and (3) totals for the first two, and over-all suitability. 15 The predictions were 
formulated in the light of standards prevailing in the school, with the result that 
it is impossible to judge whether the psychologist and standards were correct or 
whether the psychologist was merely able to anticipate what the tactical officers 
would do. The school made no use of these ratings except to watch more closely 
a candidate who emerged from the interview with low marks. 16 

Late in 1943 the OCS Department at the Tank Destroyer School experi- 
mented with a Combat Adaptability Test developed by Dr. Ernest M. Ligon, 
Expert Consultant to the Secretary of War, with the purpose of discovering a 
reliable and objective method of selecting successful combat officers. 17 The 
approach involved an analysis of the "job elements" of the combat leader's 
work; among these were ability to instruct his men in their mission, to reach 
his objectives, to get his men to cooperate, to keep his head when things went 
wrong, and to foresee what the enemy would be likely to do. A rating scale was 
developed to record the judges' estimate of the candidate's possession of these 
traits, and the candidate was placed in several test situations in which, presum- 
ably, the traits or their absence would be revealed. The candidate was first inter- 
viewed for ten or fifteen minutes by a group of four or five judges who studied 
and rated him. On the basis of his answers to a list of questions — all questions 
were the same for all candidates — the judges rated some of the desired "job ele- 
ments." Thus ability to get men to cooperate was inferred from the subject's 

ls Study, Armd Sch, Office of the Military Psychologist, "Report of Psychological Examinations of OCs 
(based on tentative Norms) OC Class #68," 20 Jun 44. Armd OCS Dept files. 

" Statement of Col T. E. Winstead, Dir OCS Dept, Armd Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 21 Mar 45. 

"Study (R), TD Sch Classification Dept, 20 Dec 43, sub: Pers Research Rpt — Experiment in Combat 
Adaptability. 3 Parts. TD Sch files. 



response to such a question as "How would you deal with stubborn subordi- 
nates." After the interview the candidate was given a short time in which to pre- 
pare and deliver a 2-minute talk to an imaginary platoon about to go into battle 
for the first time. This performance was designed to reveal something about 
the candidate's performance under stress, his power of expression, and his 
ability to command attention. For more direct evidence on the candidate's 
ability to work under pressure he was placed in two "stress situations." Against 
time, he was required to solve a map problem and to translate two different 
codes transmitted alternately by two senders. As he worked he heard a battle- 
noise recording through an earphone, felt periodic shocks applied through a 
shock device strapped to one wrist, had his chair violently shaken by a vibrator, 
and breathed with difficulty through the partially closed intake of the gas mask 
he wore. 

The Combat Adaptability Test was given to the last three officer candidate 
classes at the Tank Destroyer School. No relationship was discovered between 
the test ratings and the regular OCS rating scale, or between the test and AGCT 
scores, age, height, weight, or education. A slight correlation was noticed with 
scores on the Officer Candidate Test, which was being given experimentally at 
this time. Since the Tank Destroyer School closed soon after the experiment 
was undertaken, no complete findings or revisions were possible. 

Selection and Training of Tactical Officers 

As the .principal judge of the candidate's potential value, the tactical officer 
was the key figure in OCS training. He was in close daily contact with his men 
and was to a considerable extent the model they imitated. He had the most 
opportunities to observe, assess, correct, and assist the candidate. Above all, his 
recommendation was in the normal case tantamount to final selection or relief 
from the school. It followed from his strategic position that the tactical officer 
had to be chosen with great care. As the Infantry School's "Guide for Tactical 
Officers" stated: 18 

Every man is inclined to judge others by the values he places upon himself. This 
makes it vital that those officers called upon to pass judgment be themselves of the highest 
caliber, as well as mature in judgment. Too much stress cannot be placed upon this point. . . . 
Since the platoon leader is the basic judge at the school, it is imperative that he be selected 
with care and be constantly supervised and trained. 

u Ltr, 9 Nov 42, sub: The Rating of OCs. Infantry School Mailing List, XXVI (1943), 202. 



Early plans for officer candidate training, which contemplated very limited 
operations, provided for the assignment of Regular Army men as tactical officers 
whenever possible. In the first five classes at the Infantry School, for example, 
Regular Army majors commanded candidate companies, and Regular and 
Reserve captains acted as platoon leaders. 19 Detail of Regular Army officers to 
such duty could not be continued after 1941 because of the more urgent need 
for them in tactical units. After 1941 the chief sources of tactical officers were 
the Officers' Reserve Corps and the officer candidate schools themselves, partic- 
ularly the latter. To staff the greatly increased numbers of classes during 1942, 
hundreds of graduating candidates were detailed. One week they were being 
judged, the next week they were judges. The schools were careful to pick tacti- 
cal officers from among the best men in a graduating class. They tried to select 
mature men with civilian and military experience. But there was no way of 
maintaining the standard originally contemplated. Maturity and experience 
came to repose more and more in members of the Faculty Board, who were usu- 
ally older Regular Army officers with combat records in World War I. Not until 
1944, when officers began to return from overseas, did the schools have large 
numbers of tactical officers who combined judgment and maturity with fresh 
knowledge of what combat required in an officer. 

Little formal training for tactical officers was conducted. Since most of them 
were recent OCS graduates, they had a detailed familiarity with the operation 
of the selection system. The new tactical officer was normally assigned for a time 
as a supernumerary in a candidate company, to peer over a veteran's shoulder 
as he made out reports, listen as he interviewed candidates, and trail along as 
he observed the men in class and field. After this period of observation the novice 
was given a platoon, whenever possible in a "strong" company whose com- 
mander had a reputation for correct application of the school's standards. In addi- 
tion to this on-the-job training, regular, if informal, training was administered by 
battalion and regimental commanders and members of the Faculty Board or 
OCS Department. These men, oldest at the game and the ultimate custodians of 
selection standards, directed the tactical officers both through regular supervision 
and inspection of records, procedures, and class conduct and through the criteria 
they applied in recommending candidates for commission. It was natural for 
tactical officers to build up a case for or against a candidate in terms acceptable 

u Statement of Col R. R. Coursey, WD G-i Div (formerly Dir of OCs, Inf Sch), to AGF Hist Off, 
2 Mar 45. 



to the board of officers before whom they were to present it. Finally, from time 
to time, tactical officers were brought together for orientation or for discussion 
of current problems. On the whole it does not appear that the training of tactical 
officers was as thorough as was called for by their general inexperience and the 
importance of their mission. 

Factors Determining Success and Failure 

Only about three-fourths of the men detailed to officer candidate schools 
were commissioned there. The mortality rate of 25 percent represented a heavy 
cost — in disappointment to men who failed and, of greater practical significance, 
in time, money, effort, and facilities largely wasted on men who might never 
have been selected for training had the conditions of success been better under- 
stood. Unfortunately, though material for investigation was ample, no compre- 
hensive study was ever made of the causes of failure at the schools or of the 
relevance of standards used in the field in selecting applicants. 

The principal causes of relief from officer candidate school, however, were 
apparently academic deficiency and lack of leadership. A few men were relieved 
for misconduct. Miscellaneous causes of relief included resignation, failure to 
meet physical standards, receipt of direct commissions, hospitalization, and 
death. No close comparison can be made among schools, for with the possible 
exception of the category "Conduct" no common definitions or standards for 
the categories of failure were applied at the schools. "Other Causes" was a par- 
ticularly ambiguous classification. Until April 1942, failures were not classified 
at all. After April 1942 the category of "Other Causes" included such a diversity 
of cases as to preclude any precise definition. Furthermore, few failures were 
attributable to a single cause; they were reported in terms of the predominant 
cause, but methods of weighing the causes for relief varied widely. 

In general, schools of those arms using a considerable amount of complex 
equipment and requiring mathematical ability for the solution of gunnery 
problems were more difficult academically; in the arms in which the platoon 
leader was more often required to direct the combat action of small mobile units 
the schools placed heavier emphasis on leadership. In the artillery schools 
especially, the technique of handling equipment occupied a larger proportion of 
time than at the Infantry and Cavalry Schools, where tactical training predomi- 
nated. In a course involving a high proportion of mathematics, specific educa- 
tional deficiencies, as distinguished from deficiencies in general intelligence, 



could more often cause failure. The strong tactical emphasis of such a course as 
that at the Infantry School, on the other hand, provided more opportunities for 
the candidate to be revealed as lacking in force, resolution, initiative, and 

In addition to the reservation made above — that no two schools defined 
leadership or academic proficiency in the same way — a further qualification 
must be made. Academic deficiency could be proved more easily than lack of 
leadership ; it was a matter of test scores, about which argument was difficult. 
Some schools apparently preferred to keep a weak candidate in school and allow 
him to fail academically rather than to relieve him for poor leadership. In this 
manner they protected themselves against the complaints from families and 
friends that inevitably followed the relief of certain candidates. 

No definitive listing can be given of the immediate causes of academic or 
leadership failure. Even if the schools had attached equal importance to the 
same qualities, a multitude of deviations from the standard would defy easy 
classification. Some indication of the reasons advanced for failure at one school 
can be given. Approximately 9,000 failures in 200 classes at the Infantry School 
were analyzed by the school authorities. The following deficiencies were found 
to be the chief causes of relief of these men: 20 

Academic Failures 

1. Insufficient preparation: lack of basic education, insufficient basic train- 
ing, administrative rather than military experience. 

2. Inadequate application: laziness, carelessness, lack of interest. 
Leadership Failures 

1. Inadequate power of self-expression: lack of personal force, colorless 

2. Insufficient force and self-assurance: lack of self-confidence, lack of 
initiative, inability to make quick decisions, unwillingness to assume responsi- 
bility, timidity, lack of poise under stress. 

3. Attitude : lack of effort, inattention, lack of perseverance, indifference. 

4. Incapacity for teamwork: intolerance, lack of adaptability. 

5. Military appearance: untidiness, lack of cleanliness, lack of coordina- 
tion, stamina, and endurance. 

6. Speech: crudity of speech, lack of volume and authoritative tone. 

"Inf Sch pamphlet, undated [23 Oct 43], sub: The Selection System o£ the OC Course, The Inf Sch, 
and An Analysis of OC Failures. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 


In general, men with high AGCT scores were more likely to be graduated 
from officer candidate school than men with low scores. Evidence on this point 
is clear, but it loses some of its significance because tactical officers were influenced 
in their judgments by the candidate's AGCT score, and because success depended 
in considerable measure on test grades, which were usually higher for men with 
higher AGCT's. In two groups of classes at the Infantry School, AGCT scores and 
failures were correlated as follows: 21 

AGCT Score Percentage of Failures 

Classes 253-281 Classes 329-338 

no or less 61.3 70 

111-115 49.2 59 

1 16-120 39.6 42 

121-125 32.1 33 

126-130 23.9 31 

131-135 21.6 30 

136-140 17.4 24 

141 and over 18.4 21 

Age was another factor that governed the likelihood of graduation. Most 
candidates during the period before mid-1944 were in their twenties. Younger 
candidates came to predominate in the later months of 1944, when men were 
drawn principally from the replacement centers. One would expect both the 
youngest and the oldest candidates to fail more frequently than those in the 
middle bracket — the youngest largely from lack of experience in dealing with 
men, the oldest from greater difficulty in standing the physical strain and from 
lack of recent educational experience. Available evidence confirms this judgment. 
The Infantry School reported 1,465 failures in Classes 253-281, distributed in 
three age groups as follows: 


Ages Percentage of Failures 

25 and under 33.5 

26-30 29.7 

31 and over 37.0 

Chances of success or failure varied also with the sources from which can- 
didates were drawn. In general, candidates from within the branch were more 

* (1) Ind to personal Itr of Col Thornton Chase, Inf Sch AG, to Lt Col W. S. Renshaw, AGF G-i 
Sec, 9 Aug 43. 314.7 (AGF Hist), (i) Inf Sch Classification Sec study, Jul 44, sub: OC Performance Related 
to AGCT Scores. Inf Sch files. 

"Seen. 21 (1). 



successful than those from other branches; candidates from replacement training 
centers more successful than those from troop units. ROTC students were gen- 
erally more successful than volunteer officer candidates (VOC's) ; VOC's more 
successful than regular enlisted candidates. These generalizations, like those 
above, are based, to be sure, on only partial data. 

The fullest study that has been made concerns the operation of the Anti- 
aircraft Artillery School. During its span of operation this school received 33,195 
candidates, of whom 25,220 graduated. Performance by component was as 
follows: 23 

Component Graduated Relieved 

Number Percent Number Percent 

ROTC 1,564 85.2 271 14.8 

VOC 2,292 79.5 591 20.5 

Enlisted 21,364 75.0 7,1 13 25.0 

TOTAL 25,220 76.0 7,975 24.0 

Men from different sources performed as follows: 

Source Graduated Relieved 

Number Percent Number Percent 

ROTC 1,564 85.2 271 14.8 

CA Units not Stationed 

at AATC's 4>io9 82.0 907 18.0 

In classes 253-281 at the Infantry School, failures were distributed according 
to the source of candidates as follows : 24 

Source Graduated Relieved 






2 37 



















Other Branches in 


than Infantry 










" (1) AAA School, OC Div Final Statistical Rpt, 15 J un 44. AA C omd files. (2) These figures differ 
slightly from those shown in the |chart| in this study, and in |Table No. a] of the study, "The Procurement of 
Officers," in this volume. The figures in the chart and table were compiled from reports by classes of EM 
graduates and from the monthly reports of ROTC graduates in the files of the Adjutant General's Office. 

** Incl to personal ltr of Col Thornton Chase, Inf Sch AG, to Lt Col W. S. Renshaw, AGF G-i Sec, 
9 Aug 43. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 


A survey of another block of students at the Infantry School (1,419 men in 
Classes 294-300, September 1943) showed that 60.7 percent graduated, 31.9 per- 
cent failed, and 7.4 percent were turned back. Of the men from infantry divisions 
and replacement training centers, 70.9 percent were graduated, as compared with 
only 44.2 percent of men from other branches (including 42.3 percent of those 
from Army Air Forces). In this group, ROTC students as a whole fared much 
better than men from all other sources — 74.3 percent graduating as against 60.5 
percent from other sources. 28 

ROTC candidates showed a higher rate of graduation than did men without 
ROTC training. A tabulation made in May 1944 by the Office of the Executive 
for Reserve and ROTC Affairs disclosed that, during the period from 1 June 
1942 to 21 April 1944, of 9,261 ROTC candidates entering AGF officer candidate 
schools, 7,565, or 81.7 percent, graduated. During the comparable period, June 
1942 through April 1944, 137,513 candidates from other sources (exclusive of 
turnbacks) entered AGF officer candidate schools; of these, 103,602, or 75.3 
percent, graduated. 26 

Among ROTC candidates those from the Junior Division (from prepara- 
tory schools and junior colleges) were less likely to graduate than those from the 
Senior Division. In Classes 128-335 at tne Infantry School, 646 candidates from 
the ROTC Junior Division entered ; 263, or 40.7 percent, graduated with their 
class, and 48, or 7.3 percent, were turned back. In these same classes, 5,905 candi- 
dates from the ROTC Senior Division entered ; 4,103, or 69.8 percent, graduated 
with their class, and 240, or 4.1 percent, were turned back. 2T 

Although superior in academic performance, ROTC candidates were more 
likely to fail for lack of leadership qualities than men drawn from other sources. 
In the period from June 1942 through April 1944, approximately 12,0 percent of 
the ROTC candidates who entered AGF officer candidate schools failed for lack 
of leadership, whereas only 6.7 percent of the candidates from other sources 
failed for this reason. 28 This higher rate of failure among ROTC candidates in 
meeting tests of capacity for leadership is traceable to several causes. ROTC 

* Inf Sch Classification Sec study, Dec 43, sub: Study of OCs. Inf Sch files. 

" (1) Table, WD Office of the Executive for Reserve and ROTC Affairs, sub: Comparative Mortality 
among OCs, 29 May 44. 314.7 (AGF Hist). (2) Figures compiled in Hist Div, WDSS, from Consolidated 
Reports of Officer Candidate Schools, Grd Stat Sec, Hq AGF. 

"Report of ROTC graduates and nongraduates, OC CI 128 through OC CI 335 (21 Sep 42-4 Jul 44), 
Infantry School. AGF G-3 Sec files. 

•* Sources cited in n. 26 above. 



candidates as a group were younger than regular enlisted candidates and 
were penalized for their "immaturity." It was somewhat illogical to admit 
immature candidates to officer candidate school and then hold their lack of 
experience against them. ROTC candidates had on the whole received less prac- 
tical military experience than enlisted candidates, even though most had gone 
through a replacement training center. Leadership had been a critical factor in 
the selection of enlisted candidates to attend officer candidate school, but ROTC 
men had not been screened for leadership to the same extent or on the same 
basis during their ROTC course. 

Candidates from replacement training centers were in general more suc- 
cessful at the officer candidate schools than were men sent from units. The 
regular turnover of personnel in the replacement training centers ensured a 
constantly refreshed supply of representative selectees, with a relatively fixed 
proportion of men in the various intelligence brackets. If a large number of 
candidates was assigned to school, new arrivals at the replacement training center 
would replenish the supply of qualified men before another quota had to be met. 
In units, after considerable numbers of candidates had been sent, as in 1942, 
the quality of the remaining men was not so easily made up. Some fillers came 
from replacement training centers, and these had already been screened for 
officer candidates. Unit commanders, looking toward combat, were naturally 
reluctant to send their best men off to school and face the prospect of training 
inadequate substitutes. 

The superior record of candidates from replacement training centers was 
due also to more efficient screening methods used there. The large quotas avail- 
able to replacement training centers enabled them to convene selection boards at 
regular and frequent intervals. Officers assigned to these boards became experi- 
enced in selection ; with much practice, interviewing and rating procedures were 
refined. With smaller quotas more irregularly allotted, units did not have an 
opportunity to develop as much skill in selection. A third factor contributing to 
the success of RTC candidates was the special preparatory schools operated in 
most centers from late 1942 until the spring of 1943. The results of these differ- 
ences were striking. At the Field Artillery School, for example, the record of 
candidates in Classes 23-32 was as follows: 29 

Source Total Enrolled Failures Percentage Failing 

RTC's 1,118 71 6.35 

Units 3,778 626 16.53 

"AGF M/S (C), G-i to CofS, 8 Mar 43, sub: OCSs. 352/60 (C). 



In the first sixty-four classes at the Infantry School (approximately 13,000 men), 
only 6 percent of candidates from infantry and branch immaterial replacement 
training centers failed to graduate; the average percentage of failure for classes 
as a whole — most of the remaining men were from units — was 17 percent during 
this period. 30 

M Memo of Col Thornton Chase, Inf Sch AG, for Col C. K. Krams, R&SC G-i, 25 Sep 42. R&SC files, 
OCS Gen #1. 

II. Modifications of the 
Officer Candidate Program, 

The tremendous expansion of officer candidate schools in 1942, and a result- 
ing sharp decline in the quality of candidates, confronted the schools with a 
dilemma. The selection of inferior candidates for officer training forced the 
adoption of special measures to weed out the undesirable and unfit. But since 
demand was great and supply of even poorly qualified candidates none too 
abundant, the schools had to seek ways of squeezing the maximum number of 
graduates from the material at hand. Among the devices used to eliminate the 
obviously unfit were retests on the Army General Classification Test and various 
locally prepared qualifying examinations. The chief measures used to qualify 
weak or inexperienced candidates were the preparatory schools and the turnback 

Introduction of Tests 

In the fall of 1942 it became a regular practice at the Infantry School to 
administer the AGCT to all incoming candidates, even though their records 
showed that they had previously achieved a score of at least no on the test. The 
school was convinced that the test was often improperly administered in the 
field and that scores were being juggled to get men into officer candidate school. 1 
Although many men scored less than no on the retest, Army regulations pre- 
vented their relief before one-third of the course had been completed. Tactical 
officers and the Faculty Board watched such men more closely, and they were 
usually relieved from the school. Other schools administered AGCT retests only 
when they suspected the authenticity of a candidate's recorded score. 

Several schools developed screening tests designed to locate candidates 
whose educational qualifications were insufficient to enable them to complete 
the course or to perform satisfactorily as officers. No general educational quali- 

1 Statement of Maj F. C. Ash, AGF G-i Sec (formerly Inf Sch AG Sec), to AGF Hist Off, 20 Feb 45. 


fication was ever set by the War Department or by Army Ground Forces. In 
practice the schools faced a hard fact : many candidates lacked the educational 
equipment to cope with the material — especially the mathematics — of the 
courses. The Field Artillery School developed an Arithmetic Qualifying Exam- 
ination designed to screen out men with too little mathematical ability. 2 In the 
fall of 1942 the Infantry School adopted a basic education test, covering reading, 
grammar, spelling, geography, and arithmetic, given in the reception unit when 
the candidate arrived. Although the test was extremely simple, the number 
and type of errors made by candidates cast doubt on the ability of many men 
to extract meaning from field manuals, formulate and issue orders, conduct 
clear instruction, and solve the mathematical problems that a platoon leader 
would encounter. 3 Deficiencies in arithmetic revealed by the test were so strik- 
ing that a mathematical examination, called the Platoon Leader's Computations 
Test, was made a regular part of the Infantry OCS course in 1943. The Armored 
School in 1942 adopted a basic education test embracing grammar, geography, 
and current events. 4 

By use of such tests the schools protected themselves against extreme vari- 
ability resulting primarily from the absence of measures to eliminate unfit candi- 
dates at the source. The schools were not permitted to relieve candidates merely 
on the basis of failure to pass an educational screening test. But the adoption 
of such tests reflected a disposition to unload at the earliest opportunity men who 
could not pass them. Such candidates were watched more closely and it was 
usually found that their subsequent performance tallied with their low screen- 
ing test scores. In effect, the same result was achieved as if candidates had been 
subjected to similar screening in units. Had this been done, the time and expense 
of sending educationally unqualified men to school might have been saved, 
and greater uniformity might have been achieved through use of a single test 
prepared by experts. 

Preparatory Schools 

Officer candidate schools in 1942 were handicapped not only by basically 
inferior candidates but also by the presence of men who were merely inexperi- 

' FA Sch 2d ind, i Dec 42, on AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 18 Nov 42, sub: Visit of Dr. James Grafton Rogers 
to FA Sch. 095 (Rogers, J G). 

* Inf Sch study, Tabulation of Performance of Candidates on the TIS Test, 1943. Filed in Office of the 
Secretary, Inf Sch. 

' Statement of Maj Combatalade, Chief Gen Tng Sec, OCS Dept, Armd Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 21 Mar 45. 



enced, slow, immature, or lacking in basic training. To conserve and ultimately 
to commission as many of these man as possible, two special devices were 
employed — preparatory schools and the turnback policy. 

When, in 1942, RTC commanders were authorized to retain OCS applicants 
up to 15 percent of training center capacity for thirty days to receive special 
instruction, OCS preparatory schools were established in the replacement train- 
ing centers of each arm. 8 During a 4-week course the applicants were taught 
weapons, small-unit tactics, map reading, drill, and other subjects stressed in 
officer candidate school. Special attention was given to inspections and to prac- 
tice in giving commands. Men who failed the course were not selected for officer 
candidate school. In December 1942 the commandants of the Infantry, Cavalry, 
and Tank Destroyer Schools were authorized to send to the preparatory schools 
at the nearest replacement training center candidates from other branches who 
lacked basic training in their new arm. This measure enabled potentially good 
candidates from other branches to compete at officer candidate school on equal 
terms with men from within the branch served by the school. 6 

The candidate schools conducted their own preparatory instruction. Before 
preparatory courses were started at replacement training centers the Field Artil- 
lery School, in September 1942, inaugurated a Salvage School for candidates 
reporting to officer candidate school with inadequate artillery training and for 
men encountering difficulty during the regular officer candidate course. The 
Salvage School course, lasting four weeks, taught basic mathematics, gun drill, 
fire control instruments, and fire direction procedure. It was found that by 
putting through this course transferees from other branches, together with 
candidates from artillery units whose duties had been largely administrative, 
the pace of instruction in the regular officer candidate course could be main- 
tained and a higher proportion of graduates ensured. 7 At the Antiaircraft Artil- 
lery School a Special Training Battery was set up to give two weeks of drill, 
discipline, and basic training to men deficient in command ability. Men were 
normally detailed to this battery after their weaknesses had been revealed in 
the regular course. 8 

6 AGF 1st ind, 24 Nov 42, on R&SC ltr, 18 Nov 42, sub: Instructor Pers for Offs' Pool Sch and OCS 
Preparatory Sch, FA RTC. 352/108 (FA OCS). 

• (1) R&SC ltr to CGs, 31 Dec 42, sub: Preliminary Tng for OCS. R&SC files, OCS Gen. (2) WD Memo 
^350-56-43, 13 Mar 43, sub: Guide for OCS Applicants and OCS Examining Bds, pars 24, 32, 38, 57. 
352/424 (OCS). 

T "History of the Field Artillery School," n. 832. Draft copy in files of FA Sch. 
" Statement of Lt Col D. F. Sellards, S-3 AAA Sch, to AGF Hist Off, 17 Mar 45. 



After April 1943 the OCS program was greatly curtailed and it seemed 
no longer necessary to give special attention to the preliminary training of 
candidates. Preparatory schools at the replacement training centers were closed 
down. But they had served a useful purpose. Maj. Gen. Harold R. Bull, Com- 
manding General of the Replacement and School Command, summarized the 
benefits that had been derived from the preparatory schools as follows: 
"... men are better prepared to undertake the course, have a uniform back- 
ground, and those weak in leadership are weeded out, thus protecting school 
capacity." 10 

The Turnback^ Policy 

During 1941 and the early months of 1942, when the need for officers was 
not acute and the supply of applicants for officer candidate school far exceeded 
training capacities, a candidate judged lacking in academic or leadership ability 
was relieved, and he was not given a chance to redeem himself. So many appli- 
cants were waiting for the opportunity to enter officer candidate school that it 
was both unnecessary and unfair to nurse along a weak candidate. As the 
demand for officers mounted and the supply dwindled, it appeared that some 
deficient candidates might be salvaged if they were given a chance to repeat 
all or part of the course. Some men lacked experience, others lacked basic train- 
ing, and some men had been away from school for so long that they could not 
keep up with the class. The principle followed by the schools in regard to such 
men was enunciated by the Chief of Field Artillery in January 1942: no man 
who showed "reasonable prospect" of developing into a satisfactory officer 
should be dismissed prior to completion of the prescribed course. 11 

The number of turnbacks became tremendous. 12 At the Antiaircraft Artillery 
School 5,847 students, 23.6 percent of the enrollment, were turned back in 1943; 
at the Field Artillery School, 3,694, 22.1 percent of the enrollment; and at the 
Infantry School, 2,683, 8-6 percent of the enrollment. The numbers turned back 

• (1) R&SC ltr to CGs RTCs, 27 Apr 43, sub: Discontinuance of OC Preparatory Schs. R&SC files, 352 
(Sch Gen) #1. (2) R&SC ltr to TAG, 30 Apr 43, sub: Change on WD Memo W350-56-43. 352/424 (OCS). 

10 R&SC ist ind, 1 Dec 42, on AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 18 Nov 42, sub: Visit of Dr. James Grafton Rogers 
to FA Sch. 095/41 (Rogers, J G). 

"Office CofFA ltr to Comdt FA Sch, 8 Jan 42, sub: Turnback of OCs. R&SC files, OCS Gen #1. See 
also par 11 (3), Cir 126, WD, 28 Apr 42. 

u Statistics in this paragraph were derived from Consolidated Reports of Officer Candidate Schools, AGF 
Statistics Section. They do not include ROTC candidates. 



were smaller at the other schools, where the demand for quantity production was 
less acute. Between July 1942, when a separate account began to be taken of turn- 
backs, and January 1945, about 15 percent of the candidates enrolled were turned 
back as indicated below: 


Number of 



( Less Turnbacks) 

Antiaircraft Artillery 









Coast Artillery 



Field Artillery 





5 2 .979 

Tank Destroyer 






It is impossible to determine what proportion of these 18,486 men were 
commissioned after their second (or, in some cases, third) try at the course. 
Detailed figures are available only from the Infantry School. There it was found 
that the proportion of turnbacks graduating was generally similar to the. propor- 
tion of all graduates in classes leaving the school in the same period. Candidates 
turned back in Classes 10-300 graduated as follows: 13 

Percentage of 

Class Number 










1 19 -139 


140 - 162A 


163 - 186 




207 - 227 


229 - 249 

S3- 2 





Three classes at the Infantry School consisted entirely of turnbacks. Class 
No. 273, made up of 254 turnbacks, graduated only 30.3 percent, the lowest 
percentage in the history of the school. Classes 290 and 293 graduated 58.3 and 
44.4 percent respectively. 14 

u Ind 3 to Inf Sch ltrtoCG RitSC, 10 Aug 44, sub: Selection of OCs. AGF G-i Sec files (Renshaw). 
" Analysis of Inf Sch OC Classes 1-408. 314.7 (AGF Hist). 


If 50 percent of the candidates turned back were commissioned, the Army 
gained 9,000 officers who would have been lost had there been no turnback 
policy and had no better candidates been available. The crux of the matter was 
in the availability of suitable material. When good candidates were plentiful 
the turnback policy was wasteful, expensive, and discriminatory. It prolonged 
candidate training by from one to four months; it greatly increased the cost 
of producing a second lieutenant; it absorbed facilities that might have been 
devoted to training a first-rate candidate; and it did not ensure the graduation 
of even a majority of those turned back. The policy was justified only by sheer 

Proposed Revision of Procedures for Selecting Candidates 

The deterioration in the quality of officer candidates during 1942 had effects 
more far-reaching than the institution of the correctives discussed above. Because 
of the officer shortage, the prevailing theory of officer recruitment was modified 
to permit the commissioning of volunteers from deferred classes under Selective 
Service and of candidates regarded as suitable for the performance of admin- 
istrative duties only. In this way large officer demands were more nearly met. 

Recommendations for major changes in the procedures used in selecting 
candidates were put forward by The Inspector General in January 1943. Inspec- 
tion of nine schools, of which five were in the combat arms, had led The 
Inspector General to the conclusion that "during recent months, there has been 
a definite decline in the quality of candidates." The success of school operations 
was being compromised by the low quality of candidates as reflected in increas- 
ing percentages of failures and turnbacks. The Inspector General noted that 
"a substantial portion" of failures and turnbacks consisted of men whose AGCT 
scores were only a few points above the no minimum; that the educational 
requirement was too loosely drawn, since the mere possession of a college degree 
— in art appreciation, for example — did not promise likelihood of success in a 
candidate course; that men sent to a school of another branch were severely 
handicapped by lack of proper basic training, as were also men whose experi- 
ence within their own branch had been mainly clerical ; and that many candi- 
dates were given no opportunity to develop and demonstrate leadership ability 
before they went to school. In view of these conditions, The Inspector General 
recommended several methods of raising the quality of candidates and tighten- 
ing the selection process. The minimum AGCT score was to be raised to 115. 



"Substantiating examinations" were to be prepared at each school to measure, 
in borderline cases, "the minimum adequacy of candidates' educational (or 
equivalent) background." All schools were to establish preparatory courses to 
give basic instruction to candidates who had had no basic training in the branch. 
Commanders were "to take active steps" to ensure that potential candidates 
had ample opportunity to develop and demonstrate leadership qualities. 16 Some 
of these measures, as already indicated, had been adopted piecemeal at certain 

Army Ground Forces opposed all The Inspector General's recommenda- 
tions. Raising the AGCT score requirement, it was felt, might eliminate many 
candidates with good leadership qualities but little education. School tests were 
held unnecessary, not only because borderline cases could be rejected without 
further examinations, but also because such tests would place an additional 
administrative burden on the schools. Army Ground Forces no longer favored 
preparatory schools for candidates lacking proper basic training. The number 
of men who would fall in this category was not expected to be large enough under 
greatly reduced candidate quotas to justify the time, expense, and overhead for 
such special training. New pressure on unit commanders to select candidates 
who had demonstrated leadership was thought unnecessary in view of the 
great reduction in the number of candidates that units were now required to 
furnish; the selection standards would be self-correcting under conditions of 
severe retrenchment. 

As an alternative to the policy recommended by The Inspector General, 
which would have improved the quality of candidates by refining the selection 
system, Army Ground Forces advocated improving the officer material available 
to the ground arms. Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, believed that it was 
essential for the ground arms to receive a larger share of Class I and Class II 
men (those whose AGCT scores were no or higher), in order to provide ample 
leadership not only in commissioned but also in noncommissioned and enlisted 
specialist positions. The diversion of high intelligence inductees to the Air 
Forces, together with the siphoning of Class I and Class II men out of the 
Ground Forces into the Army Specialized Training Program, made it neces- 
sary to take steps to obtain the allotment of sufficient numbers of high-quality 
personnel to the ground arms. 16 Nothing came of The Inspector General's 

"TIG memo (C) IG 352.4 (OCS) (1-26-43) for ACofS G-i WD, 26 Jan 43, sub: OCSs. 352/60 (C). 

" (1) AGF memo (C) for ACofS G-i WD, 14 Mar 43, sub: OCSs. (2) AGF M/Ss, G-i, G-3, AG, 
various dates, Feb and Mar 43, sub as in (1). Both in 352/60 (C). 



recommendations. The War Department issued special instructions to ensure 
every candidate's completing basic training before going to school. 17 

Extension of the OCS Course to Seventeen Wee\s 

Instead of adopting The Inspector General's recommendation, an effort 
was made to improve the quality of graduates by lengthening the OCS course. 
The proposal to extend the course came from Army Service Forces, which 
recommended a 4-month (17-week) period. 18 The War Department looked 
with favor on the proposal, as did also the Replacement and School Com- 
mand. 19 Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, opposed the extension because 
of its inveterate view that, beyond minimum technical training in the schools, 
officers were best trained in units, where responsibilities of troop training would 
develop whatever leadership qualities the officer had. Army Ground Forces 
agreed that the school training of officers would be improved by a longer course 
and that initially the new second lieutenant might be a better qualified instruc- 
tor in certain subjects. But it viewed with disfavor a plan that would delay 
the moment when the officer would be thrown upon his own resources in a 
unit. Furthermore, it saw no reason why all OCS courses should be of the same 
length. Since their mission was primarily to give basic technical and tactical 
training, they might reasonably vary in length as the subject matters of the 
several arms varied in difficulty. The antiaircraft officer candidate course had 
already been extended to seventeen weeks, and proposals for a similar increase 
in armored officer candidate training were under consideration. Army Ground 
Forces saw an additional reason for rejecting the 4-month plan in the fact that 
the officer candidate course was not the whole of an officer's schooling. After 
a suitable period of troop duty the officer would be returned to school, if he 
was qualified, for an advanced general or technical course. 20 On 18 May 1943 
the War Department decided in favor of the original ASF proposal and directed 
that all OCS courses be extended to a minimum of four months by 1 July. 21 

17 WD Memo W625-4-43, 13 Apr 43, sub: OCS Applicants. 35^/434 (OCS). 

"WD SOS memo SPTRS 352.11 (OCS) (23 Apr 43) to ACofS G-3 WD, 23 Apr 43, sub: Increase in 
Length of OC Course. 352/440 (OCS). 

a (1) WD memo WDGCT 352 OCS (4-23-43) to CG AGF, 24 Apr 43, sub: Increase in Length of OC 
Courses. (2) AGF M/R, Tab C, tel conv between Col Shaw, AGF, and Col Shallene, R&SC, 29 Apr 43. Both 
in 352/440 (OCS). 

*° (1) AGF memo for CofS USA, 9 May 43, sub: Increase in Length of OC Courses. (2) AGF M/S, 
G-3toCofS, 30 Apr 43, sub as in (i).Both in 352/440 (OCS). 

* WD memo WDGCT 352 OCS (4-23-43) for CGs, 18 May 43. sub as in n. 20 (1). 352/440 (OCS) 



Seeking to salvage as much of its original scheme as possible, Army Ground 
Forces directed its school commands to draw up courses that would emphasize 
practical instruction and technique and reduce theoretical instruction to a 

» • 22 


The programs of instruction submitted by the schools to cover the extended 
training period revealed considerable variation, both in total length and in 
treatment of common general subjects. Courses varied in length from 782 hours 
(Coast Artillery) to 852 hours (Tank Destroyer). Army Ground Forces directed 
that all courses be 816 hours in length, the correct total for seventeen 48-hour 
weeks. The following tabulation indicates the wide variety of ways in which 
certain subjects common to all branches were treated in the programs submitted : 




Cav (M) 

Cav (H) 





3 1 



7 l A 



Military Law 





First Aid 







Defense against 

Chemical Attack 






Methods of Instruction 





X 3 

Safeguarding Military 




Reserved Time 







It was unlikely on the face of it that a tank destroyer officer needed four 
times as much instruction in company administration as did a field artillery 
officer. If a cavalry officer required some instruction in military law, so too did 
an infantry officer. While some Reserved Time was useful in giving the pro- 
gram flexibility, it was doubtful that the cavalry course needed nearly twice the 
flexibility required by the tank destroyer course. Army Ground Forces directed 
that all programs be reviewed to equalize the time spent on such common 
courses as those listed above. 23 The Replacement and School Command worked 
out a list of common subjects and directed their inclusion in the programs of 
all officer candidate schools under its control. The list totaled 140 hours, or 
approximately one-sixth of the course: 24 

■ AGFltr to CG R&SC, 28 May 43, sub as in n. 20 (1). Same ltr to Armd F. 352/440 (OCS). 

* (1) AGF M/S, G-3 to CofS, 26 Jun 43, sub: Increase in Length of OCS Courses. (2) AGF 2d ind, 
27 Jun 43, to CG R&SC on programs of instruction submitted 12 Jun 43 by R&SC. (3) 17-week OCS 
programs. All in 352/ 440 (OCS). 

" R&SC ltr to Comdts Inf, Cav, FA, CA, and TD Schs, 6 Jul 43, sub: Increase in Length of OCS 
Courses. AGF G-3 Schs Br files, OCS Gen/ 46. 




Classification Procedure 


|V-kfv\ n^nv A/iminictriitmri 1 inrliiHinor Mpc« A/tq n q fTprMAfit - i 

\_AJlllUally .^LUlllllllaLidUUll ^lUUUUlllg lUCjJ lYldlldt'dllCllL J 


Ijpfpncp q era in ct" tnpmipul A t't'UPlr 


Flpmpnt^ tv nn n n n nfl A pfi 3 1 P n/^t"/^fTT*o T\r\ KPaHinrr 
J-jlCIUCllUll y IVXaU allU Z\CIl«il .T IMJlUgl 4 LU1 XVCaUlllU 


I .Piifipr^nin anrl A^^ralp 

iiCaUCl olll U allU 1Y1U1 «IC 


■V^Ptnfvlc /"i r Aircrorf InAntirif qHaii 
IVlCUlUVJi Ul il.ll LI all. XUCllLlilLaLlUll 


^rtPtrinHc r»f Armnrpn VPninP THpnfifi/'afir»n 
iVICUlUUd Ul jTillllUlCU V ClUUC lUCllLllll^iLlUll 


Aflpfnrwic nf T"nctriii~fir»fi 

iTlclilvUa KtL 11 loll UCL1UU 


nAilit'&rv ( pncitrc H m 
lYlllllcll y V^ClloUl >111U 


Military Courtesy and Discipline (including Customs of the Service) 


Military Law (including Court-Martial Procedure) 


Military Sanitation and First Aid 


Mines and Booby Traps (except at Coast Artillery School) 


Organization of the Army 


Physical Training 


Safeguarding Military Information 


Special Service Activities 


Training Management 


Proposals for a 6-Month CS Course 

While the schools were getting under way with the new 17-week course, 
a proposal to extend officer candidate training to six months was being studied. 
Put forward by G-i of the War Department and concurred in by Army Service 
Forces, which wished part of the 6-month training to be conducted at a single 
basic school for candidates of all branches, the proposal was strongly opposed 
by Army Ground Forces. An AGF study was produced for the War Depart- 
ment to show that probable additions to the 17-week programs would not 
improve the quality of new officers. The study indicated that adding two months 
to the course would result in increasing by one-third the subjects adequately 
covered in the current programs (tactics and weapons), and in adding physical 
drill and open time to keep the candidate in condition; no new subjects would 
be added since all those pertinent to officer training were already included in 
the courses. Army Ground Forces reiterated its views on officer training: to a 
minimum of technical instruction should be added service with troops, where 
the habits of leadership and command could be developed. Comments of over- 
seas commanders on the performance of junior officers were cited to show that 
technical training had not been criticized. Only leadership, which Army Ground 


3 6l 

Forces felt could not be improved by lengthening school courses, had been 
questioned. 26 

Army Ground Forces had barely finished its rebuttal of this proposal when 
it was invited to consider another scheme for amplifying officer candidate train- 
ing. G-i of the War Department put forward on 1 September 1943 a detailed 
plan for giving six months' training: the first thirteen weeks in a basic course 
for candidates of Air, Ground, and Service Forces to be conducted at Fort Ben- 
ning; the remainder in specialized branch courses at the existing candidate 
schools. G-i believed that such a program would produce better-qualified offi- 
cers by increasing instruction in common basic subjects, subjecting all candidates 
to more uniform standards, and enhancing the candidate's readiness for special- 
ized instruction. The basic course was to include the following: 

Subjects Hours 

Weapons: Technique 144 

Tactical Employment 78 

Tactics: Company and Higher Units, 

including Staff Procedure 87 

General Subjects Common to all Branches 231 

Administration: Processing, Boards, Organization, Graduation 48 

Unscheduled Time 52 

TOTAL ~6y> 

To meet the AGF objections to six months of training for candidates, G-i 
pointed to the fact that "no emergency exists at present which would require 
the shortening of officer candidate school courses." 28 

Army Ground Forces sought once more to make clear its views on the 
education of officers. General McNair stated to G-i that candidate training in 
wartime "should be as brief as practicable, and limited to sound basic training 
and technical and tactical training sufficient to enable the young officer to join 
a training unit and render reasonably effective service." The training of any 
officer did not cease with his graduation from a candidate school; it continued 
while the officer performed his regular duty in a unit. Indeed, this schooling 
on the job was the most important part of his education because it was practical. 

" (i)AGF memo for CofS USA, n Aug 43, sub as in n.~24. 351/20 (OCS)(S). (2) AGF M/S, G-3 
Misc Div to G— 3, 30 Jul 43, sub: Conference at WD Concerning Extension of OCS Course to Six Months. (3) 
AGF memo for CofS USA, undated, but about 6 Aug 43, sub: Increase in Length of OCS Courses. Not Sent. 
Both (1) and (3) in AGF G-3 Schs Br files, OCS Gen/47. 

" WD D/F WDGAP 352 OCS (C) to CG AGF, 4 Sep 43, sub: Plan for Centralized Basic OC Tng at the 
Inf Sch, Ft Benning, Ga. With incls. 352/21 (OCS) (S). 


Refresher and advanced training followed after the officer acquired enough 
experience to benefit from it. General McNair found the proposed scheme unde- 
sirable on other grounds also. The mobilization of the Army was nearly com- 
plete and it seemed fruitless to revise radically the plan for officer training at so 
late a date. The proposal would increase overhead, already absorbing more than 
80,000 officers and enlisted men in Army Ground Forces. Curtailment, not 
expansion, was in order. He believed that most candidates in 1944 would be 
drawn from the ROTC : the few enlisted men would be more carefully screened 
than ever before. Expanded training was therefore less necessary than in the 
past. 27 

No action was taken by the War Department, but the extension scheme 
remained a live issue. By the end of November 1943 the Acting Chief of Staff 
of the War Department had tentatively approved a plan similar to that put 
forward in September: three months of basic officer training at the Infantry 
School and three months of branch training. The attitude of Army Ground 
Forces had not changed. The plan was considered undesirable for the following 
reasons: It would divide the responsibility for officer training between the 
Infantry School and the branch schools; it would increase the number of men 
to be trained at Fort Benning without corresponding reductions elsewhere, 
thereby increasing overhead requirements; and it would throw all candidates 
into a common pool from which Army Ground Forces might have difficulty 
getting its own men back. Since mobilization was "over-complete" in officers, 
of whom approximately 30,000 were now surplus in the ground arms alone, it 
seemed futile to embark on a new plan for officer training. "The crying need," 
General McNair observed, "is to improve the officers already available in 
superabundant numbers." 28 

Developments in 1944-45 

The increased officer requirements resulting from accelerated operations 
in Europe during 1944 were not uniformly distributed among the ground com- 
bat arms. They were concentrated primarily in the Infantry and, to a lesser 
extent, in the Field Artillery. Beginning in October 1944 the Infantry School 
substantially expanded its enrollment of officer candidates; during the first 

* (1) AGF memo (S) for CofS USA (G-i Div), 10 Sep 43, sub as in n. 26. 352/21 (OCS)(S). (2) 
AGF M/S (C), G-i to G-3, G-3 to CofS, 6-9 Sep 43, sub as in n. 26. 352/21 (OCS)(S). (3) Draft, AGF 
memo for CofS USA, undated, but about 4 Sep 43, sub as in n. 26. AGF G-3 Schs Br files, OCS Gen/52. 

" AGF memo (S) for CofS USA " Dec 43, sub: OCS. 352/21 (OCS) (S). 



eight months of 1945 the Infantry School graduated 8,521 candidates, more 
than twice the number graduated in the corresponding months of 1944. The 
Field Artillery Officer Candidate School continued to operate until the end of 
the war, although on a reduced level. On the other hand, the requirements for 
antiaircraft, coast artillery, cavalry, and tank destroyer officers were so low in 
relation to the supply available that the officer candidate schools of these arms 
were suspended in the spring of 1944. It was anticipated that armored officers 
would be needed in somewhat larger numbers, but suspension of the Armored 
Officer Candidate School was planned for September. 

By September 1944 the estimates of officer requirements made earlier in 
the year had been found too low. Future needs for armored officers were too 
great to permit closing the Armored School, and it became necessary to resume 
the production of cavalry and tank destroyer officers. The numbers required 
were too small to justify the expense and overhead necessary to reopen the 
Cavalry and Tank Destroyer Officer Candidate Schools. Since the Armored 
School was in operation and since the training of armored, mechanized cavalry, 
and tank destroyer officers had so many common features, it was decided to 
train officers of all these arms at the Armored School. The consolidated program 
went into effect in November 1944. Candidates of the three arms were admitted 
in the following proportions: Armored, 40 percent; Tank Destroyer, 15 per- 
cent ; and Cavalry, 45 percent. 29 The program provided for twelve weeks of 
common training and five weeks of branch instruction. The breakdown of 
hours was as follows : 30 


Common Training 

Branch Training 

Drill and Discipline 


General Subjects 






Motors, Wheeled 


Motors, Full Track 





Instructor Training 




Reserved Time 





• (1) AGF memo (S) for TAG, 6 Sep 44, sub: AGF OCS Quotas. 352/105 (OCS)(S). (2) WD ltr (C) 
AGOT-S-A 352 (20 Sep 44) to CG AGF, 26 Sep 44, sub: OCS Capacities. 352/342 (C). 

30 R&SC "Program of Instruction for OCS (Consolidated Mechanized Cav, Armd, and TD)," 20 Oct 44. 
3147 (AGF Hist). 


An important development in the officer candidate system was a change 
in the method of selecting candidates for admission. The educational test pro- 
posed in 1941 was developed by the Personnel Research Section of the Adjutant 
General's Office. Known as the Officer Candidate Test, it was first given experi- 
mentally at the Tank Destroyer, Armored, and perhaps other schools in the fall of 
1943. In the summer of 1944 the test was ready for general use. An Army Regula- 
tion of 12 September 1944 required that it be administered at replacement training 
centers and elsewhere to candidates for admission whenever possible; but it was 
not until February 1945 that the test came into universal use in the selection of 
candidates. 31 

No substantial changes were made in the conduct of officer candidate 
instruction during the last year of the war. The quality of instruction suffered 
somewhat from accelerated rotation and the inexperience in teaching of instruc- 
tors who had been returned from overseas. Deterioration in instruction, however, 
was offset by standardization in method and by the system of schools for instruc- 
tors which was introduced into the service schools. While no important changes 
in courses were made, certain emphases were introduced in the officer candidate 
school courses, as in others, in response to the current needs of the war. Thus 
additional stress was placed on physical hardening in view of the severe combat 
conditions experienced by junior officers in the field, and in the spring and sum- 
mer of 1945 training was oriented more and more toward the war against Japan. 

Despite continued agitation by Army Service Forces for an extension of 
the OCS course to six months, the length of the course was limited until V-J 
Day to seventeen weeks. Army Ground Forces maintained consistently the 
position that officer candidate schools provided only the initial and individual 
phase of officer training; the final and perhaps decisive training experience came 
only with the assignment of OCS graduates to unit command. While AGF officer 
candidate schools fulfilled an indispensable mission, becoming the main source 
of junior officers, it was the combination of school and unit training that produced 
the successful junior officer for the ground combat arms in World War II. 

" (1) AR 625-5, 12 Sep 44. (2) Sec III, Cir 468, WD, 13 Dec 44. 

The Training 
of Enlisted Replacements 


William R. Keast 




Control of Replacement Training Centers 370 

The Replacement and School Command 371 

Training Program of Replacement Centers 372 

Organisation of Centers 374 

Guides for RTC Training 377 

Methods of Instruction 378 


Standardisation of the Length of Training 382 

Standardisation of Programs 385 

Introduction of Greater Realism into Training 387 

Field Training 390 

The Problem of Tactical Training 391 


MENT TRAINING, 1942-43 394 

The Issue of Branch Immaterial Training 394 

The Issue of Unit versus Center Organisation of Training 400 


Criticisms of Company Tactical Training 409 

Further Revision of M.obli%_ation Training Programs 411 

Revision of Training Rates 414 

Institution of Branch Immaterial Training 417 

The Tendency toward Broader Categories of Training 420 

Special Expedients to Increase Infantry Replacement Production 422 

Abandonment of Branch Immaterial Training 423 

Adjustment' of Training Programs to the War in the Pacific 426 



Training Rates for Infantry Replacement Training Centers, March 1941- 

October 1945 (Percentage Distribution) 416 

I. The Initial Role and Organization 
of Replacement Training Centers 

At the beginning of 1940 the only establishments in the U.S. Army providing 
military training for individuals over any considerable period were the General 
and Special Service Schools, small organizations designed to furnish advanced 
and specialist training to a limited corps of key individuals, enlisted and com- 
missioned. The much larger task of providing basic military training for all 
soldiers on their induction into the Army was handled by units of the field 
forces. In 1940 the War Department adopted a revolutionary plan for the conduct 
of basic training: the establishment of special training organizations, known as 
replacement training centers. 1 

For the anticipated large influx of citizen soldiers, mass production was to 
be attained by rotating them in successive cycles through replacement training 
centers which would be devoted solely to individual basic and basic specialist 
military training. The mission of these training centers was to provide a steady 
flow of trained men to tactical units, relieving such units during mobilization 
of the burden of conducting individual training and enabling them to remain 
effective during combat despite large losses. 

The center system of training was put into effect in March 1941. Twelve 
centers began operation: 3 Coast Artillery, 1 Armored, 1 Cavalry, 3 Field Artil- 
lery, and 4 Infantry. During the remainder of 1941 they trained over 200,000 
replacements for the ground arms. 2 

After the declaration of war in December 1941 two requirements would 
have to be met if the replacement centers were to fulfill their intended mission. 
One was to supply fillers (often called "filler replacements") to occupy initial 
vacancies in units being activated or brought to war strength. The other was to 

1 A more detailed discussion of the origin and development of the replacement training centers will 
be found above in the study "The Provision of Enlisted Replacements." 

1 For statistics of AGF replacement production, see the tables in 

"The Provision of Enlisted 



provide loss replacements for units already in training and for units engaged in 
combat. But after Pearl Harbor, the replacement centers were not expanded to 
capacities sufficient for the conduct of basic training for both purposes. The 
limited capacity of replacement centers was reserved primarily for the training 
of loss replacements, cadres, and cadre equivalents. The normal method of filling 
up newly activated units was to assign inductees to them directly from reception 
centers, giving them their basic training after they had joined their unit. 3 

Control of Replacement Training Centers 

Both types of individual training organizations — the special service schools 
and the replacement training centers — were controlled originally by the separate 
chiefs of branches in the War Department. The chiefs of the four statutory 
ground arms and the Armored Force were responsible for the activation and 
constitution of their respective replacement centers and for the preparation 
and supervision of their training programs. For direct supply and administra- 
tion the installations were served by the corps area where they were located. Final 
action on the allotment and assignment of overhead personnel and capacities, 
and on the allocation and shipment of trainees and students, was effected by the 
War Department through The Adjutant General on the basis of recommenda- 
tions made by the offices of the chiefs of arms. 

When, on 9 March 1942, the Army Ground Forces was created as the major 
command responsible for the preparation of the ground forces for combat, it 
fell heir to most of the functions of the Chiefs of Infantry, Field Artillery, 
Cavalry, and Coast Artillery, 4 and in addition was given the responsibility for 
replacement training in the new quasi arms — Armored, Antiaircraft Artillery, 
and Tank Destroyer. Major decisions of policy with respect to the number of 
replacements to be trained, the branch distribution of RTC capacity, and the 
assignment of personnel to and from the centers remained with the War Depart- 
ment. Army Ground Forces made no effort to enlarge its power over replace- 
ment matters, insisting that its function should be limited to training and that 
the War Department or the Services of Supply (later called Army Service 
Forces) should handle all other aspects of the replacement system. 

3 (1) WD G-3 memo (S) G-3/6457-433 for CofS USA, 27 Dec 41, sub: Mob and Tng Plan (revised), 
1942. (2) WD ltr (S) AG 381 (4-1-42) EC-GCT-M to CGs, 7 Apr 42, sub: RTC Capacity and Related 
Matters. Both in AGO Records, 381 ( 1 2-27-4 i)(S). 

4 Cir No. 50, WD, 2 Mar 42. 



Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, concerned itself with the formulation 
of the basic policies to prevail in replacement training centers and with such 
general supervision as was necessary to ensure their execution. It established in 
its G— 3 Section a Schools and Replacement Training Branch and, through 
this branch, sent out inspection teams to the Replacement and School Command 
and to the centers. AGF headquarters supervised training in the seven arms and 
quasi arms through three subordinate agencies. The chief of these was the 
Replacement and School Command, provided for in the reorganization of March 
1942 as a headquarters directly subordinate to Headquarters, Army Ground 
Forces. It was at once given control of the replacement centers and the schools 
of the four statutory arms, and in the summer of 1942 it acquired control over 
replacement training in the new tank destroyer establishment, which it exercised 
through the commander of the Tank Destroyer Center. The second subordinate 
agency was the Armored Force, whose chief was made directly responsible 
to Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, in all his functions. When the 
Armored Force was reorganized, finally emerging in February 1944 as the 
Armored Center, its replacement training center, at Fort Knox, Ky., passed to 
the control of the Replacement and School Command. The third supervisory 
agency, also provided for in the reorganization, was the Antiaircraft Artillery 
Command, located in Richmond, Va., which was given charge of antiaircraft 
artillery training, formerly under the Coast Artillery Corps. Personnel from the 
offices of the former Chiefs of Infantry, Cavalry, Field Artillery, and Coast Artil- 
lery were distributed among the headquarters of the Army Ground Forces, the 
Replacement and School Command, and the Antiaircraft Artillery Command. 

The Replacement and School Command 

Maj. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges, Chief of Infantry when that office was 
absorbed into Army Ground Forces, became the first commanding general of 
the Replacement and School Command. The initial statement of the mission 
of the Replacement and School Command, contained in an advance directive 
to its commanding general, vested in the Command control over the replace- 
ment training centers of Infantry, Coast Artillery, Field Artillery, and Cavalry, 
and of two branch immaterial replacement training centers which had been 
established on 15 January 1942. The duties and responsibilities of the Command- 



ing General of the Replacement and School Command were stated by Army 
Ground Forces to include the following: 5 

a. Activation of such units as are directed by this headquarters. 

b. Unit training of all units under his command, and the individual training of per- 
sonnel assigned to the various schools . . . and replacement training centers under his 

Of these two responsibilities, that for "the individual training of personnel" easily 
took precedence in the training of replacements. Tactical units were assigned to 
the command only to perform the function of school troops at the various service 
schools. The mission of activation was reflected chiefly in the subsequent estab- 
lishment of new replacement training centers, of which fourteen were activated 
by the command in the course of the war. Within each installation the activation 
of additional training units to expand capacity was a frequent occurrence, while 
the activation of tactical units as school troops was comparatively rare. 

The Replacement and School Command carried out its mission of replace- 
ment training entirely through the agency of replacement training centers. It was 
the mission of the Headquarters, Replacement and School Command, to provide 
the centers with training programs and to supervise their execution; to study, 
improve, disseminate, and direct the practice of the best possible techniques and 
methods of training; to facilitate the conduct of training by administrative pro- 
cedures designed to effect the best and most economical organization of the 
installations for training; to provide the installations with at least the minimum 
of personnel adequate to carry out their missions; to control the flow of trainees 
and students through the installations, in accordance with capacities prescribed 
by the War Department and (after March 1943) by Army Ground Forces; and 
to provide the centers with equipment, ammunition, and supplies sufficient to 
accomplish their training mission. 

Training Program of Replacement Centers 

Replacement training centers trained newly inducted enlisted men in basic 
military subjects and in elementary specialist techniques of the arm to which 
they were assigned. Since at the time they were established, before the war, the 
immediate object of replacement training was to supply filler replacements, 
the training system adopted originally reflected this purpose. Only privates were 
produced, the higher grades being available to units in cadres initially and 

°AGF ltr 320.2/1 (R&SC) (3-9-42) to Maj Gen C. H. Hodges, Coflnf, 9 Mar 42, sub: Advance 
Directive, Actvn of R&SC. R&SC Records, 320.2, binder 1, #4. 



through upgrading later. Training was conducted only in a limited number of 
the commonest military occupational specialties (MOS's), since many MOS's 
were limited to grades above private and since schools were available to conduct 
training in the rarer, more technical, and more difficult specialties. In general 
only individual training was given, training in teamwork being reserved largely 
for tactical units. Training was standardized, to permit units to base advanced 
training on a common foundation. It was desirable to centralize instruction in 
order to use the limited number of experienced instructors to the maximum and 
to enable inexperienced instructors to concentrate on a few subjects. The system 
had to be economical of overhead personnel and training facilities. It had to be 
flexible, permitting the speediest possible adjustment to changing demands for 
replacements of different branches or of different specialties within a branch. 

All men in an RTC company were trained for identical jobs, in contrast 
to the T/O unit which was characterized by the variety of functions which its 
members performed. Replacement training was in this sense specialized, in 
contrast to the diversified training in many military occupational specialties 
conducted in a unit during its individual training period. But the identical train- 
ing in one MOS received by all recruits in the RTC company was broader and 
less specialized than training in that MOS in a unit. For example, riflemen in an 
RTC company were trained in light machine-gun and mortar firing and in the 
tactics of the squad and section of the weapons platoon of a T/O rifle company. In 
contrast, during basic training the men in a rifle company of a unit were instructed 
only in the weapons and the tactics of the particular squad or section to which 
they were assigned. Thus upon completion of training in the same MOS all men 
in the RTC rifle company were assigned the same specification serial number 
or SSN (in this case 745, Rifleman) and were considered ready to take their place 
in any basic position of the rifle squads or weapons sections of a T/O rifle 

This specialization of training allowed for flexibility of production by MOS. 
In time of peace, because losses occurred in units by reason of natural death, dis- 
ability, or discharge — causes affecting all positions in a T/O unit equally — units 
organized on a T/O basis could be utilized for replacement training, though 
only by sacrificing the training advantages inherent in the functional organiza- 
tion of RTC training units. The occurrence of casualties in combat did not corre- 
spond to the occurrence of T/O positions in a unit: a greater proportion of 
riflemen needed replacement than cooks. Hence a T/O unit which trained 



combat replacements would soon produce a surplus of cooks and a shortage of 
riflemen. A replacement training center, on the other hand, produced as great a 
proportion of replacements with a particular MOS as the number of companies 
training men for that MOS bore to the total number of companies in the center. A 
change in loss replacement requirements for a given MOS was met simply by 
increasing or decreasing the number of companies which trained recruits for 
that MOS. 

Specialization of training in a replacement training center by company also 
allowed cadre instructors to specialize in a single broad type of instruction, that 
is, all the basic military and technical subjects of the training given to replace- 
ments of one particular MOS. Such specialization avoided the extreme which 
characterized instruction at the special service schools, where instructors taught 
only one or a few of the subjects of a training program. It was equally in contrast 
to the extreme found in the T/O unit during basic training, when cadre 
instructors were required to be "Jacks-of-all-trades" in their units. 

Special functions and programs were envisaged for two branch immaterial 
replacement training centers which, on 14 January 1942, were established at 
Fort McClellan, Ala., and Camp Robinson, Ark. 8 The function of these centers 
was to provide basically trained individuals, in excess of the number that could 
be supplied by branch centers, to meet emergency requirements in all arms and 
services. They were established with initial capacities totaling 26,400 trainees to 
train for an 8-week period under a new MTP, 20-2, which outlined a course that 
consisted essentially of infantry rifle training but which included also tactical 
training of the individual soldier and of the rifle squad. 7 Under this program a 
large number of men were trained and assigned to whatever branch needed them 
most urgently. 

Organization of Centers 8 

Although in March 1942 replacement training centers were just emerging 
from the experimental stage, and were to undergo extensive changes in the fol- 

'(i) WD ltr (R) AG 353 RepI Ctrs (12-29-41) MSC-C-M to Coflnf, 21 Dec 41, sub: RTCs at Ft 
McClellan and Cp Robinson. (2) WD ltr (R) AG 353 (12-19-41) MSC-C-M to CGs 4th and 7th CAs, 21 
Dec 41, sub as in (1). Both (1) and (2) in AGO Records, 353 RC (12-19-41XR). (3) WD ltr AG 320.2 
(12-24-41) MR-M-AAF to CGs, 31 Dec 41, sub: Constitution and Activation of RTCs at Ft McClellan, Ala, 
and Cp Robinson, Ark. AGO Records, 320.2 (io-4-4o)(2) Sec 13. 

* MTP 20-2, WD, 31 Dec 41. 

* The remaining portion of this chapter is based in part on the history of the Replacement and School 
Command prepared by its Historical Section. 



lowing three and a half years, their basic organizational characteristics were 
fixed. The replacement training center was organized with reference to instruc- 
tional rather than tactical functions. It consisted of a center headquarters and a 
number of training units, organized by regiment, battalion (squadron), and 
company (battery or troop). The center headquarters performed the bulk of 
administrative duties and those housekeeping duties not discharged by the post 
commander, thus freeing the training units for the primary function of training. 
The RTC regiment consisted of a small headquarters, sufficient for adequate 
supervision and scheduling of training, but unencumbered with the personnel 
and supply functions of a T/O regiment. Similarly, the battalion was a training 
headquarters, performing only a supervisory training function. Trainees were 
assigned to companies on the basis of the type of training they were to receive. 
All riflemen were grouped in rifle training companies, all cooks in cook compa- 
nies, all truck drivers in truck companies, and so forth. Regiments and battalions 
consisted of subordinate units of the same kind, on the principle that efficient 
supervision depended on specialization by regimental and battalion officers in 
only one type of training. 

The list of specialties varied among arms, but it always included specialists 
of two broad categories. Combat specialists were trained to man the combat 
weapons of the arm — riflemen, tankers, gunners, troopers. Administrative spe- 
cialists were trained to perform unit administrative, supply, and maintenance 
functions — those of cooks, clerks, radio operators, mechanics, truck drivers, line- 
men, observers, buglers, etc. Men of both categories were specialists in the strict 
sense; that is, all were trained in a military occupational specialty and were given 
a specification serial number to designate their skills. In practice it was customary 
to refer to combat specialists in replacement training centers as "line" soldiers or 
"basics" and to confine the term "specialist" to men training in an administrative 

The number of companies of each type depended on requirements for the 
various specialties. Originally, training capacity was distributed in Table of 
Organization proportions. A T/O infantry regiment, for example, contained 9 
rifle, 3 heavy weapons, 1 antitank, 1 service, and 1 headquarters companies; 
infantry replacement training centers contained the same ratios of rifle, heavy 
weapons, antitank, service, and headquarters training companies. 

The standard training company (battery, troop) contained from 200 to 240 
trainees, grouped in 4 platoons, each of which consisted of 4 squads. For sim- 
plicity in administration, supervision, and use of equipment and personnel, 



training companies of a given type were organized into training battalions and, 
when numerous enough, into training regiments. Four companies made up a 
battalion; four battalions, a regiment. 

Each company was allotted a permanent trainer group of officers and enlisted 
men, called a cadre. A rifle training company of 240 trainees, for example, used 
a cadre of 6 officers and 30 enlisted men. Eighteen of the enlisted men and all 
the officers were instructors ; the ratio of trainers to trainees was 1:10. In specialist 
companies, where instruction had to be conducted in smaller groups, the ratio 
was higher: 1:8.6 in an infantry radio company; 1:5.8 in a motor mechanics 

Organization of replacement centers on this basis had important advantages 
for training. It greatly simplified the planning and scheduling of instruction, 
since only one type of training was conducted in a company. It permitted the 
massing of facilities, equipment, and specially trained instructors for each major 
variety of training. It simplified supervision by company and by higher com- 
manders and staff officers, who could concentrate on a single program and a 
single set of standards and requirements. It facilitated the maintenance of training 
records within the companies. It increased uniformity of instruction. It econ- 
omized on trainer overhead by reducing the number of instructional groups 
into which a unit had to be divided. The number of men being trained in one 
specialty could be changed without changing the numbers trained in other 
specialties, simply by adding or subtracting units of one type. 

The physical organization of the training centers was adapted as far as 
possible to the requirements of training, with a resulting increase in training 
efficiency. Barracks and messes were larger than those provided in tactical unit 
training, with the consequence that housing and messing costs were lower in the 
centers in proportion to trainee strength. Whenever possible, training areas were 
assigned to each training regiment, since this arrangement reduced movement, 
saved training time, facilitated planning, and permitted trainer cadres to become 
intimately familiar with their assigned areas. Even more important, regimental 
training areas encouraged the development of permanent training aids in which 
a regimental cadre had an exclusive interest. The long period of time spent in 
constant repetition of basic training by an RTC regiment, in contrast to the 
short span of the single basic training cycle of a T/O regiment, ensured the con- 
tinuous development of training aids since repetition of training under close 
supervision revealed defects and stimulated improvement in their use. 



Guides for RTC Training 

The ultimate authority for the training conducted at a replacement center 
was the appropriate Mobilization Training Program (MTP) published by the 
War Department. The first replacement MTP's were written in the offices of the 
chiefs of arms in 1940, specifically for the new centers which began operations 
under their jurisdiction in March 1941. 9 The MTP consisted of two sections: 
one was devoted to general provisions regulating replacement training; the 
other consisted of a detailed breakdown of the programs applying to a particular 
branch, specifying the subjects, total number of hours for each subject, and the 
breakdown of these hours by week of the cycle. The training cycle in all MTP's 
except that of Cavalry was divided into two stages: a shorter period of basic 
training, of variable length and content, and a longer period of technical and 
tactical training designed to qualify the replacement for a particular military 
occupational specialty. 

Before the end of 1941, revised MTP's had been issued for the replacement 
training centers of the Cavalry, Coast Artillery (including Antiaircraft), and 
Infantry, and a new MTP had been published to guide Armored replacement 
training. 10 There was a good deal of disparity among the prescribed programs. 
The training cycles were not all of the same length: Infantry and Armored were 
13 weeks ; Cavalry, Coast Artillery, and Field Artillery were 12. There was an 
even greater difference in the allotment of time to basic or general training. In 
Field Artillery all replacements received identical basic training for 2 weeks ; in 
Coast Artillery basic training lasted 4 weeks for line replacements, 4 weeks for 
some specialists, and 8 for others; in Infantry the basic training period was 5 
weeks for all ; and in Cavalry replacement training there was no distinct separa- 
tion between basic and technical training. In all the programs some specifically 
"branch" subjects, such as rifle marksmanship, gunner's instruction, and vehicle 
driving, were started early in the cycle in order to allow the longest possible time 
for formation of habits. On the other hand, some "basic" subjects, notably drill, 
physical training, inspections, and marches, occurred throughout the cycle, since 
their effect depended largely on daily or weekly repetitions. 

While the MTP afforded a general guide for the conduct of training, a more 
specific guide was found in the Subject Schedules. Subject Schedules were 

' (1) MTP 2-2, WD, 12 Nov 40. (2) MTP 4-1, WD, 5 Sep 40. (3) MTP 6-1, Sec III, WD, 25 Jul 40. 
(4) MTP 7-i, Sec III, WD, 26 Sep 40. 

10 (1) MTP 2-2, WD, 22 Jul 41. (2) MTP 4-1, WD, 2 Oct 41. (3) MTP 7-3, WD, 1 Mar 41. (4) MTP 
1 7-1, WD, 3 Oct 41. (5) The first MTP to guide Tank Destroyer replacement traing. MTP 18-2, was not 
published until 31 December 1941. 



written and revised periodically by the service schools under the direction of the 
Replacement and School Command, which became responsible for the revision 
of MTP's for those arms under its jurisdiction. In them could be found the 
current and approved methods of instruction and a guide for instructors in 
planning their presentation. Subject Schedules were of necessity general; for 
local application each replacement center issued training schedules and training 
memoranda which related the provisions contained in Subject Schedules to the 
training areas and local conditions of each installation. These training schedules 
and memoranda were submitted to Headquarters, Replacement and School 
Command, for review to ensure that local directives conformed to approved 
doctrine, and to aid in the dissemination to all replacement centers of 
improvements in training methods. 

MTP's were also implemented by specific directives from Army Ground 
Forces and the Replacement and School Command. These directives ranged 
from minor revisions of previous directives to complete and detailed specifications 
for the conduct of training in a particular subject. 

Methods of Instruction 

Training conducted at replacement training centers was of two types. One 
type comprised subjects requiring personal supervision and intimate contact with 
the trainee or affording opportunity for the development of leadership, discipline, 
or morale in the training unit. Company trainer cadre conducted the instruction 
in this type of training; it was exemplified in the teaching of dismounted drill, 
physical training, marches and bivouacs, inspections, and extended order drill. 

The other type of training consisted of instruction which was technical in 
nature, requiring elaborate training aids, the pooling of weapons, or the coordi- 
nation of limited facilities. Training of this character was conducted by battalion, 
regimental, or center committees. A battalion or regimental committee was a 
group of trainer cadre drawn from the companies of the organization for the 
purpose of preparing and presenting instruction in a particular subject. Member- 
ship on a battalion or regimental committee was on a part-time basis. During 
periods when instruction was not being prepared or presented the personnel were 
on duty with their companies. In contrast, the center committee was a permanent 
organization. It was very small and the bulk of its work consisted of supervising 
instruction presented by company cadre or battalion committees. The RTC com- 
mittee system, a modification of that common in the service schools, was 
developed by the Replacement and School Command. It allowed specialization 



of instructor personnel without unduly sacrificing the benefits of discipline, 
supervision, and personal contact with the trainee which training by company 
cadre afforded. Typical battalion committee subjects were map reading, mines 
and booby traps, hand grenades, and mortar and machine-gun field firing. 
Regimental and center committees presented or supervised instruction in such 
subjects as chemical warfare training, tactical exercises, and battle courses. 

Instructor personnel were subject to rotation at the end of a year's service. A 
newly appointed officer was considered to be in the status of an assistant instructor 
during his first cycle at a replacement center, during which time his work was 
under the immediate supervision of more experienced officers. At the end of his 
tour of duty the RTC instructor supervised the work of his replacement during 
the period of overlap allowed under the rotation system. This supervision made 
for continuity of teaching methods and the improvement of training efficiency. 
Instructor personnel profited also from the repetition of training arising from 
the extension of the tour of duty over three or more training cycles. 

Special schools which emphasized the techniques of instruction were held 
regularly between cycles in the RTC program ; in addition, cadre schools were 
conducted during the training cycle by battalions, regiments, and the RTC head- 
quarters. While these schools gave instructor personnel additional instruction 
and review in the technical and tactical subjects of the MTP, their main purpose 
was to improve and standardize techniques of instruction by providing practical 
demonstrations of correct pedagogy and to give company officers an opportunity 
for trial teaching before the other instructors and their superior officers. 

One of the most significant developments in RTC methods of instruction 
was the widespread use of visual training aids, comprising not only charts, train- 
ing films, and enlarged working models of weapons and equipment but also 
training areas, battle courses, and dramatic skits illustrative of instruction. 
Because of their permanence, replacement training centers were able to develop 
training aids to a high peak of efficiency, particularly in the infantry centers. 

II. Development of the 
RTC Program, 1 942.-43 

Army Ground Forces, on assuming responsibility for the training of replace- 
ments in March 1942, inherited a going concern, whose organization, distribution 
of capacity, system of training, and programs of instruction had taken definite 
form under the chiefs of the ground arms. The replacement centers, having been 
in operation a year when Army Ground Forces was organized, had evolved a 
system of training that appeared to be satisfactory. Continuity was ensured by 
assigning experienced personnel from the offices of the chiefs of the arms to the 
two new agencies set up under Army Ground Forces to handle replacement train- 
ing, the Replacement and School Command and the Antiaircraft Artillery Com- 
mand. With the administrative aspects of the replacement system in the hands of 
the War Department and with replacement training under the immediate super- 
vision of its subordinate commands, Army Ground Forces in 1942 devoted its 
attention mainly to the activation and training of units, especially infantry 

Army Ground Forces found it increasingly necessary, however, to concern 
itself with certain broad questions of policy with respect to replacement training, 
and, by the end of 1943, some of these problems had engaged its most careful 
consideration. There were three principal reasons why AGF headquarters 
became involved in replacement training problems. One was the fact that the 
replacement system had developed separately under the chiefs of the arms and, 
after the outbreak of the war, required coordination and standardization in the 
light of the common requirements of the ground combat arms. Another was the 
necessity of adapting the military training programs of the replacement centers 
to the needs of the current war as revealed by the combat experience that had been 
acquired. The most important factor that raised policy issues was the circum- 
stance that changes in emphasis developed in the use to which replacement 
training centers were put. 

As previously noted, the original mission of the replacement training centers 
had been to give basic training to all newly inducted enlisted men prior to their 
assignment to tactical units. During 1941 most RTC graduates were assigned as 
fillers to newly activated or understrength units. In December 194 1 this mission 


3 8l 

had been altered by a decision that henceforth, in principle, newly activated units 
would ordinarily receive the bulk of their enlisted men directly from reception 
centers, instead of securing them as fillers from replacement training centers. 
Although some units received fillers from replacement centers as late as 1944, the 
principal function of the replacement system after the beginning of 1942 was the 
provision of loss replacements to established units in the United States and in 
active theaters of operations. Loss replacements, as distinguished from filler 
replacements, were those provided to fill vacancies in units caused by transfer, 
discharge, hospitalization, or death. 

The transition from the training of fillers for new units to the training of loss 
replacements for established units created certain qualitative problems in the 
training of replacements. The training given fillers was relatively simple. Since 
fillers received additional training after joining a unit, RTC programs for their 
training could be confined to essential individual instruction; and since fillers 
were produced for specific job assignments in units, it was desirable not to aim 
at too much versatility but to restrict their training within fairly narrow limits in 
order to establish their skills. In training loss replacements, on the other hand, it 
was desirable to avoid narrow specialization and to produce versatile replace- 
ments capable of satisfactory performance no matter where they were assigned. 
If they joined an established unit in the United States, loss replacements needed 
considerable unit training if they were not to delay the unit's progress; if they 
joined a unit in combat, they needed even more skill in teamwork in order not to 
impair the unit's effectiveness. The problem was to provide replacements suffi- 
ciently well trained so that they could be placed in units without unduly disrupt- 
ing either the training or the combat efficiency of the unit involved. The solution 
to this problem was to be sought in the lengthening of the RTC training cycle, in 
the introduction of greater realism into replacement training, and in the 
increasing emphasis in the replacement system on unit as opposed to individual 

A second major transition occurred as mobilization approached completion 
and as the intensity of combat increased. Henceforth the greatest need was for 
combat loss replacements in active theaters of operation, rather than for replace- 
ments to fill and maintain at full strength units in training in the United States. 
This change introduced problems that were primarily quantitative in character. 
The requirements for filler replacements could be predicted with reasonable 
accuracy, on the basis of fixed Tables of Organization which listed the number of 
men in each military occupational specialty in each kind of unit, and the fore- 

3 82 


casts provided by the Troop Basis and the activation schedule. Loss replacements 
in the Zone of Interior did not require any particular deviations in a replacement 
system that had been designed primarily to provide filler replacements, because 
nonbattle losses occurred roughly in T/O proportions. But combat losses did not 
correspond proportionately to T/O strength, being heaviest in the fighting ele- 
ments of combat units. A replacement system geared to the production of men 
in different specialties in T/O proportions was, therefore, inadequate to meet 
combat needs. Furthermore, since battle losses were heaviest in Infantry and 
Armored, combat loss requirements were felt soonest and most sharply in those 
arms. The quantitative problems that arose because of this shift in the primary 
function of the replacement system produced crises in procurement that have 
been discussed above in the study "The Provision of Enlisted Replacements"; 
but they also affected the replacement training programs of the various ground 
arms. The list of specialties trained had to be revised to provide the flexibility of 
assignment essential to an efficient combat-loss replacement system. The allot- 
ment of training capacity among arms and among specialties had to be adjusted 
to battle loss rates. Even the concept of the training center, central to the whole 
replacement scheme, did not escape critical scrutiny. 

Standardization of the Length of Training 

The period 1942-43 witnessed a series of attempts to set a standard length for 
the training cycle. By the fall of 1943 it had, except for special programs, become 
fixed at a 17-week period, which, with one interruption, remained standard 
during the remainder of the war. 

Replacement training centers, as first constituted under the chiefs of the 
arms, were operated on a 12- or 13-week training cycle. Immediately after Pearl 
Harbor many of the replacement center programs were cut drastically to eight 
weeks. Fillers for units to be activated and for overseas garrisons were needed 
at once and in greater numbers than could be supplied by the existing centers, 
operating on longer cycles. The War Department directed that training 
be curtailed in all replacement training centers except those of the Armored 
Force, the Infantry, and the Signal Corps, which, it was believed, could not 
reduce training without a dangerous loss of efficiency. 1 The revision of training 
programs was carried out wherever possible by reducing the time spent on sub- 

1 (1) WD ltr AG 320.2 (12-17-41) MT-C to CGs, 19 Dec 41, sub: Reduction in Length of Tng 
Programs at RTCs. (2) WD G-3 M/R, 17 Dec 41. Both in AGO Records, 320.2 (to-4-4o)(2) Sec i-A. 



jects rather than by eliminating subjects; the subjects eliminated were selected 
from those, such as team training on crew-served weapons, that could be taught 
with greatest ease in the units to which the trainees were to be sent. 

By February 1942, after it was decided to send recruits directly to units for 
basic training, pressure on the replacement centers was somewhat relieved. In 
that month the War Department directed that the field artillery and cavalry 
replacement centers, in order to return to a normal period of training, should 
stagger enlisted men in training, and that all enlisted men should receive full 
training after 15 July. 2 This was the situation when Army Ground Forces 
received control of the replacement training centers in March 1942. By 15 July all 
replacement training centers except those of the Antiaircraft Artillery Command 
were on the longer schedule. Because of continuing heavy demands for replace- 
ments to man new antiaircraft units, the Army Ground Forces received per- 
mission to continue the curtailed program in antiaircraft centers. Not until the 
end of November 1942 had the situation been sufficiently eased to permit them 
to return to the normal cycle. 3 

A special problem was presented by the training cycle for the two branch 
immaterial replacement training centers (BIRTC's), which had been established 
concurrently with the reduction of the training cycle to eight weeks. From July 
through December 1942, these centers were used in part to assist in the training 
of 84,000 men for Services of Supply for whose training SOS training center 
capacity was insufficient. For these men the training period was cut in May 1942 
to six weeks. 4 The two branch immaterial centers were also used to train limited- 
service personnel. But even when their product was available, it was not of maxi- 
mum use to Army Ground Forces because the training had been too brief. Most 
BIRTC graduates assigned to Army Ground Forces were assigned to the Infantry, 
and the War Department had decided in early 1942 that the infantry training 
cycle should not be curtailed. If these BI men were to be used, they would have to 
receive more training. 

In March 1943 the War Department, noting that products of the branch 
immaterial centers were not considered suitable for immediate shipment over- 

1 WD ltr AG 320.2 (2-3-42) EC-C-M to branch chiefs, 28 Feb 42, sub: Increase in Period of Tng at 
RTCs. AGO Records, 320.2 (10-4-40X2) Sec 1-A-1, 

' (1) AGF memo for G-3 WD, 2 May 42, sub: Tng Period of AA RTCs. (2) WD ltr AG 320.2 (5-2-42) 
EC-C-M to CG AA Comd, 9 May 42, sub as in (1). Both (1) and (2) in AGO Records, 320.2 (10-4-40)^) 
Sec 1-A-1. (3) AGF ltr to G-3 WD, 30 Nov 42, sub as in (1). AGO Records, 353 (3-i4~42)(i) Sec 1. 

* WD G-3 memo WDGCT 320 (RTC) (5-27-42) to CG AGF, 27 May 42, sub: Employment of RTCs. 
354.1/56 (RTCs). 

3 8 4 


seas, placed the issue before Army Ground Forces. 5 AGF headquarters recom- 
mended that trainees in these centers receive the standard infantry RTC course 
and that the training cycle be extended to thirteen weeks. This change was 
authorized, and henceforth branch immaterial training was infantry training. 6 

As early as the fall of 1942 it was becoming apparent that the 13-week train- 
ing cycle was not sufficient to train a replacement to fulfill properly his assign- 
ment as a loss replacement. In September an observer from the Replacement and 
School Command at the VIII Corps maneuvers in Louisiana reported that "it 
was the general opinion that the thirteen weeks training period could not provide 
sufficient time simultaneously to physically harden the individual soldier, give 
the necessary basic and technical instruction, and provide sufficient practice in 
the tactics and techniques of small units, to enable him to function efficiently in 
a combat team engaged in actual combat operation." 7 With the development of 
the campaign in North Africa it became still more evident that the 13-week 
training period was inadequate to produce well-trained loss replacements. On 11 
June 1943 Army Ground Forces extended the training period for all infantry and 
armored replacements from thirteen to fourteen weeks. The additional week was 
to be used exclusively for tactical training in the field, which, it was felt, had not 
been adequately emphasized. 

At the same time the War Department was receiving criticisms of replace- 
ments from overseas. Most reports indicated the need for unit training to 
supplement the individual training currently received in the replacement centers. 
The War Department directed Army Ground Forces to submit recommendations 
on a training program of six months' length. Army Ground Forces submitted 
three plans to provide replacements with six months' training, but recommended 
a compromise plan that would extend the RTC training cycle to seventeen weeks. 
On 13 July the War Department adopted the recommendation for a 17-week 
program. 8 

Army Ground Forces directed 8 the Replacement and School Command to 
establish a 17-week training cycle in all replacement training centers, effective 

•WD G-3 memo WDGCT 320 (BIRTC) (3-8-43) to CG AGF, 8 Mar 43, sub: BIRTCs. 354.1/146 

* AGF memo for G-3 WD, 28 Mar 43, sub and location as in n. 5. 

7 AGF ltr of Maj S. R. Harrison to CG R&SC, 11 Sep 42, sub: Rpt of Observer Attending VIII Corps 
Maneuvers. R&SC Records, 354.2/ 49 (Maneuvers). 

*WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (6-12-43) to CG AGF, 13 Jul 43, sub: Loss Repls. 354.1/4 

•AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 25 Jul 43, sub: Increase in RTCs. R&SC Records, 354.1/01 (S). 



8 August 1943. The added weeks of instruction were to be devoted to small-unit 
training up to and including company, battery, and troop, including at least two 
weeks of continuous field exercises. 10 The improvement in training made possible 
by the 17-week program was reflected in the lessening of criticisms of 
replacements received by the War Department from overseas commanders. 11 

Standardization of Programs 

Army Ground Forces was concerned in 1942 not merely with the standardi- 
zation of the training cycles in the replacement training centers of the various 
arms but also with the standardization of programs. Uniformity was desirable 
only with respect to those basic subjects which were common to all MTP's for 
replacement training. Since the training programs currently in use had been 
produced in the offices of the various branch chiefs, with only slight coordination, 
these common subjects exhibited wide variations. The subject matter was treated 
differently in different MTP's and not even the titles of subjects were the same; 
what appeared as a single subject in one MTP might be listed as two or even 
three subjects in another. In particular, in the initial MTP's there were wide 
divergencies in the allotment of time to subjects common to all programs, as the 
following examples indicate: 







Cav (2-2) 


FA (6-1) 

Inf (7-1) 

Courtesy, Discipline, 

Articles of War 





Sanitation, Hygiene, 

First Aid 





Interior Guard Duty 





Physical Training 




Equipment, Clothing, 

Tent Pitching 





As the war advanced it became important, particularly for the purpose of secur- 
ing greater flexibility of assignment, to effect greater uniformity in the subjects 
basic to all replacement training. By October 1942 Army Ground Forces had 

10 R&SC ltr 353 GNRST to CGs RTCs, 30 Jul 43, sub: Extension o£ Tng Period in RTCs to 17 Wks. 
R&SC Records, 353/155. 

U R&SC ltr 319.1 (S) GNRSG, Gen Hazlett to CG AGF, 25 Mar 44, sub: Rpt on Repls in ETOUSA 
and NATOUSA. R&SC Records, 319.1/1 (Rpts)(S). 

3 86 


evolved a list of subjects common to all MTP's for replacement training and had 
standardized them in nomenclature and time allotment as follows: 12 

Subject Hours 

Military Courtesy and Discipline, Articles of War 6 

Orientation Course 7 

Military Sanitation, First Aid, and Sex Hygiene 10 

Defense against Chemical Attack, individual 12 

Practice Marches and Bivouacs (minimum hours) 20 

Dismounted Drill 20 

Equipment, Clothing, and Shelter Tent Pitching 7 

Interior Guard Duty 4 

Hasty Field Fortifications and Camouflage 8 

Elementary Map and Aerial Photograph Reading (minimum hours) 8 

Physical Training (minimum hours) 36 

Inspections 18 

Protection of Military Information 3 

Organization of the Army 1 

The time allotted to the various subjects in the training programs reflected 
the impact of actual warfare. The amount of time devoted to physical condition- 
ing was steadily increased ; marches, night training, chemical warfare instruction, 
safeguarding of military information, and individual tactics were all emphasized 
more strongly in revisions of the training programs made during 1942. Subjects 
predominantly related to garrison duty, such as dismounted drill, ceremonies, 
and inspections, suffered repeated cuts to provide time for material more directly 
relevant to combat. On the other hand, the broad Orientation Course, which had 
been absent at the outset, was gradually introduced into the various MTP's of 
replacement centers during 1942. 

As indicated above in the study "The Provision of Enlisted Replacements," 
a major achievement in the administration of the replacement program during 
1943 was the preparation of conversion tables by means of which types of training 
demanded overseas could be translated into the types of training given in replace- 
ment centers. These tables, embodied in War Department Circular 283, 6 Novem- 
ber 1943, also had the effect of standardizing further the types of training in the 
centers through setting up the SSN's for which courses had to be given. 

11 (1) AGF 1st ind to G-3, WD, 30 Oct 42, on CofOrd ltr 00 352.11/7703 to TAG, 13 Oct 42, sub: 
MTPs. 461 /a (MTP). (2) R&SC 2d wrapper ind to CG AGF, 18 Nov 42, on R&SC ltr to CG AGF, 24 Oct 42, 
sub: Coast (Seacoast) Arty MTP (MTP 4-1). 461/5 (MTP). 



Introduction of Greater Realism into Training 

Even before the extension of the replacement training cycle to seventeen 
weeks, a major revision of the training programs was undertaken with a view 
to preparing replacements for immediate entrance into combat. In February 
1943, special battle courses were added to RTC training. 13 The infiltration course, 
the close combat course, and a village fighting course were introduced to prepare 
the trainee psychologically for experience with live ammunition and to accustom 
him to use his weapon under conditions more realistic than those of the range. 
These battle courses became one of the most characteristic features of replacement 
centers, the training aids par excellence of these establishments. Battle courses 
were conducted in carefully prepared and highly organized training areas, each 
designed to introduce the trainees to some phase of the sound and fury of actual 
combat. For this reason they were often referred to as "battle inoculation" courses. 
Although used by tactical units in their basic training, the courses developed at 
the replacement training centers were ordinarily far better constructed and 
organized, and more stress was placed on their proper use. 

Among the battle courses the infiltration course 14 was distinctive in that it 
did not lend itself readily to realistic tactical training or a tactical situation. The 
purpose of this course was primarily to accustom men to overhead fire and to the 
noise^and effect of near-by explosions. 16 Stress was laid on the proper techniques 
of moving forward under fire and negotiating barbed-wire entanglements. In 
the summer of 1943 handling and care of the rifle under the adverse conditions of 
the course were added to counteract the tendency of trainees to neglect their 
weapons during the excitement. 16 In September 1943, the Replacement and 
School Command directed that all trainees run the infiltration course at night as 
well as during daylight. 17 Further refinements heightening the realism of the 
course were introduced in 1944 and 1945. 

u AGF ltr to CGs, 4 Feb 43, sub: Special Battle Courses. 353.01 / 61. 

u (1) Incls 1 and 2, "Street Fighting," and "Infiltration," to TDC 1st ind, 24 Feb 43, on R&SC ltr 353 
GNRST to CG TDC, 17 Feb 43, sub: Orgn of Infiltration and Combat in Cities Crses. R&SC Records, 353/4 
(Tank Destroyer). (2) Ind, Subject Schedule, "Batde Conditioning," prepared by TDRTC, to 1st ind 
TDRTC, 6 Jul 43, on R&SC ltr 353 GNRST to CG TDRTC, 19 Jun 43, sub: Battle Conditioning Crse. 
R&SC Records, 353/9 (TDRTC). (3) Subject Schedule No. 11, Battle Courses, 10 Dec 43. (4) MTP (7-3) 
Subject Schedule No. 11, "Mental Conditioning Course," 1 Mar 45. 

a AGF ltr 353.01/61 GNGCT to CG R&SC, 4 Feb 43, sub: Special Battle Crses. R&SC Records, 353/68. 

" (1) R&SC ltr 474 GNRST to CGs RTCs, 13 Jul 43, sub: Handling and Care of Weapons on Infiltration 
Crse. (2) Gen Hazlett's personal ltrs to all CGs of Inf, Cav, and BIRTCs, 14 Jul 43. Both in R&SC Records, 

" R&SC memo, Gen Hazlett to Gen Curtis, 29 Sep 43. R&SC Records, 353/149. 



The close combat course, 18 included in the MTP by direction of Army 
Ground Forces in February 1943, was evolved out of the quick-firing reaction 
course and the so-called "blitz" course used in replacement training in 1942. The 
quick-firing reaction course consisted of lanes containing surprise targets which 
were engaged by the trainees, but it did not involve the negotiation of obstacles. 
The blitz course had no targets and required no firing by the trainee, but con- 
tained obstacles, explosives, and, during certain stages, overhead fire. The close 
combat course contained elements of each of these earlier courses. Its purpose was 
to teach men to fire small arms with speed and accuracy at surprise targets while 
negotiating a broken terrain. Explosions and overhead fire were excluded. Before 
the end of 1943 the close combat course, which had usually been only 100 yards 
long, was lengthened, and the series of obstacles was made less artificial. Several 
further improvements in the direction of realism were made in 1944, including 
the introduction of explosions. In its final form the close combat course was a 
highly realistic tactical problem, complete with a tactical situation involving a 
dozen or more separate actions, and based on the so-called "buddy system" in 
which several trainees paired of! in two groups moving forward with mutual 
support and "leap-frog" tactics. 

The village fighting course 19 had a threefold purpose: first, to train the indi- 
vidual soldier to work efficiently and to fire accurately at fleeting targets amid the 
noise and confusion of battle ; second, to train the individual soldier in the proper 
techniques of street fighting, entering and clearing houses, jumping from roofs 
and scaling walls, and avoiding booby traps ; and, third, to train the individual 
soldier to operate as a member of a team in the tactics of a small unit in clearing 
a village. 20 The course ultimately provided for trainees going through a complete 
tactical problem involving all the techniques of village fighting and the appli- 
cation of the principles of mutual support, cover, and movement. There was a 
profuse expenditure of live ammunition, including flanking and overhead fire, 
augmented by explosions and simulated mortar fire, while the noise and confu- 
sion of battle reached its climax with the introduction of tank support in the 
final stages of the "battle." To stress realism, the cadre control was made wholly 

18 See pTTTI 

u (1) See |n. 14. 1 (2) Pars 30-31, MTP (7-3), Subject Schedule No. 81, "Tactics of the Rifle Squad and 
Platoon," 1 May 45. RfcSC Hist Sec files. 

80 (1) AGF Itr 353/52 (Tng Dir) GNGCT to CGs . . . R&SC, 19 Oct 42, sub: Tng Dir effective 1 Nov 42. 
R&SC Records, 353/1 (AGF Tng Dir). (2) See | n. 15. 1 (3) AGF Itr 353/29 (Assault) GNGCT to CGs . . . 
R&SC, 8 Feb 43, sub: Construction o£ "Mock Villages" for "Combat in Cities" Tng, and incls. R&SC Records, 



tactical, and the only safety precautions were those inherent in normal tactical 

In June 1943 AGF headquarters instituted another important battle course — 
overhead artillery fire. 21 While it had been used previously at the field artillery 
replacement training center, AGF headquarters now directed that one field 
artillery battery be stationed at each infantry center to expose infantry trainees to 
overhead artillery fire. 22 The purpose was to demonstrate what a concentration of 
artillery fire actually was, to build confidence in trainees in their own artillery, 
and to convince them that artillery fire need not be feared. By the fall of 1943 
several replacement centers had developed tactical problems, centering on the 
action of a squad as part of the platoon or company, organized tactically, and 
based on a situation which called for close artillery support. The problem was 
essentially a company attack on a fortified position. All infantry weapons were 
employed, and, in addition to artillery fire, trainees were subjected to overhead 
and flanking mortar and machine-gun fire. 

The basic battle courses and other courses reflecting the trend toward greater 
realism had by September 1943 become common to the MTP's of all branches. By 
that month the list of these common subjects, standardized by Army Ground 
Forces in nomenclature and number of hours, was as follows: 23 



Organization of the Army and [Branch] 


Military Courtesy and Discipline, Articles of War 


Military Sanitation and First Aid 

Personal and Sex Hygiene 


First Aid 


Field Sanitation 


Equipment, Clothing, and Tent Pitching 


Interior Guard Duty 


Chemical Warfare Training 


Protection against Carelessness 


Combat Intelligence and Counter-intelligence 

Protection of Military Information 


Enemy Information 


Antitank and Antipersonnel Mines and Booby Traps 

(including Improvisation) 


11 See fTT^ (3) and (4). 

a R&SC ltr 322 GNRST to CGs Inf and BIRTCs, 18 Jun 43, sub: Ovhd Arty Fire. R&SC Records, 

B RStSC wrapper ind to CG AGF, 18 Sep 43, on MTPs. 461/64 (MTP). 



Subject Hours 

Hand Grenades (including Improvisation) 8 
Battle Courses 

Infiltration Course 2 

Close Combat Course [not included in CA and FA programs] 2 

Field Training 

An important feature of the revised 13-week MTP in force during the first 
six months of 1943 was its prescription of a 3-day period of field exercises. 24 Lack 
of field training had been one of the major weaknesses of the replacement train- 
ing programs. In general the trainee was taught to perform his individual job 
under more or less ideal conditions. It was assumed that once he had mastered 
his trade he could learn to operate under field conditions after joining a unit. By 
1943 most replacements could not be given a "shakedown" period in a unit; they 
had to be able to practice their trades under the worst conditions immediately 
upon joining. Field training formerly given in units now had to be given in the 
replacement centers. 

In March 1943 the Replacement and School Command prescribed a 3-day 
field period for all infantry trainees except specialists, to come at the end of the 
training cycle. 25 It included a 20-mile march, squad and platoon exercises, and 
enforcement of ration and water discipline. Further increase in the amount of 
field training was thought necessary by Army Ground Forces. Brig. Gen. John M. 
Lentz, G-3, Army Ground Forces, noted that "after all, [replacements] are sup- 
posed to go straight into battle. Cables from overseas state they are not ready." 28 
He singled out combat firing, transition firing, night patrolling, and field work 
as subjects in which individual replacements were especially weak. Study of the 
content of the training programs led officers of the G-3 Section to raise the 
question: "If the purpose is to fit men for battle — why should not replacements 
be exposed to actual physical hardships?" They recommended a 2-week field 
training period, during which night marches, patrolling, combat firing, and 
battle courses would be stressed, and an extension of the training cycle to four- 

" R&SC memo, Col Shallene to CofS, 2 Jun 43, sub: Field Exercises. R&SC Records, 853/5. 

* Inf Tng Prog for Inf Repls at RTCs, 1 Mar 43. R&SC Records, 353/41 (Inf RTC). 

" Record of tel conv between Gen Lentz and Gen Hazlett, R&SC, 31 Mar 43. AGF G-3 Schs Br files, 
R&SORTC binder 1/66 (S). 


39 1 

teen weeks. 27 It was estimated that the 2-week period would give the replacement 
one-third of the field experience gained by a soldier on maneuvers with a unit. 

When the Replacement and School Command produced a plan to extend the 
training cycle one week and add a io-day field training period, Army Ground 
Forces renewed its recommendation to the War Department to extend the train- 
ing cycle. 28 The extension was approved for infantry and armored centers, and 
on n June Army Ground Forces directed that in the new 14-week cycle the field 
training be increased to ten days for all trainees, including specialists. Experience 
with replacements of the other arms had not been extensive, and drastic changes 
in the other programs were not believed to be necessary. 

When the War Department on 13 July 1943 approved the extension of the 
RTC training cycle to seventeen weeks, it directed that the training programs be 
"modified to include additional small unit training and at least two weeks of con- 
tinuous field exercises." 29 Programs embodying these changes went into effect 
in August. The 2-week field period, occurring in the fifteenth and sixteenth 
weeks, comprised a series of tactical problems during which the trainees, under 
conditions simulating those of combat, were called upon to apply the skills 
acquired earlier in the course. Although altered from time to time in specific con- 
tent, the field period remained a standard feature of replacement training and 
was generally regarded as one of its most notable developments. 

The Problem of Tactical Training 

The stipulation of "additional small unit training" in the July directive of the 
War Department touched on an important issue — the question of how large a 
unit was desirable in RTC training. The words of the directive did not make 
clear the size of the unit which was envisaged. The question of tactical training 
of small units had concerned the Replacement and School Command from the 
beginning, and it had at times differed with AGF headquarters as to the most 
desirable solution. 

Tactical training of small units played a relatively minor role in the original 

" AGF M/S, G-3 Tng Div to G-3, 15 Apr 43, sub: Increase of MTP 7-3 to 14 Wks. AGF G-3 Schs Br 
files, R&SC-RTC binder 1 /66 (S). 

" (1) R&SC ltr to CG AGF, 14 Apr 43, sub: Increase in Length of Tng Period of Inf Loss Repls from 
13 to 14 Wks. (2) AGF M/S, G-3 to CofS, 9 May 43, sub: Increase in Length of Tng of Loss Repls from 13 
to 14 Wks. Both in 354.1 (RTC). 

" (1) WD memo (S) WDGCT 320.2 Gen (6-12-43) t° CG AGF, 13 Jul 43, sub: Loss Repls. 354.1/4 
(RTC)(S). (2) AGF ltr to CG R&SC, 25 Jul 43, sub: Increase in RTCs. 354.1/4 (RTC)(S). 



replacement training programs. Tactical problems for the squad had been stand- 
ard in replacement training centers since 194 1, but for the first few months after 
Pearl Harbor the rapid turnover of company officers placed the main burden of 
tactical training on platoon sergeants, who were not available in sufficient num- 
bers to make that training worthwhile. The Replacement and School Command 
was not satisfied with the situation, and on 1 May 1942 it directed each of the 
infantry centers to prepare for review tactical problems for each type of exercise 
called for in the various Subject Schedules. 80 Reviewed and to some extent stand-